Visiting the Anne Frank House has always been emotional for me. This visit was no different.
I am not old enough to have any first hand memories of the second world war, everything I know has been passed down to me either through books or movies.
I first read the Diary of Anne Frank almost 25 years ago, it was very moving then, especially as I was student teaching at the time and I was working with a grade 6 class. They were all Christian and had no direct knowledge of what persecution based on religion was like.
I knew then that if I had the chance I wanted to see the secret annex in Amsterdam. I wanted first hand knowledge of what it was like during the war; or as close as possible to first hand.
Walking through the secret passage and seeing how small the space was and knowing that there were 8 people living there made the spaces even smaller.
Reading the notes and the information on the walls and tables brought everything to life.
The cramped spaces, lack of food, and the constant fear of being discovered had a major impact on those hiding. Anne makes that clear. It becomes clearer when you are standing in the same room she sat in to write; when you look out the same windows she looked out through and listen to the same bells she listened to.
Anne died a few short weeks of her camp being liberated.
The Anne Frank House forces me to remember that over a million children were part of the 6 million Jews that were killed during the Holocaust.
A bit of a side note…..The Dutch seem to have a storage way of celebrating….
I was at The Anne frank House today with a school group of 12 year old kids. This was a class trip to celebrate the end of the school year and their “graduation” from elementary school. A celebration…at the Anne Frank House?