ANNE FRANK'S HOUSE

  1. The misunderstanding
    Why does everyone have this so twisted? Me too. My Anne Frank history is all muddied with Helen Keller's and Anne Sullivan's, for some reason..? Most everyone I know remembers Anne Frank as escaping the Nazi regime and dying old. Nope. She died of typhus in a concentration camp, under the impression everyone in her family was dead (her dad survived) 1 month before the war ended. This is like that Berenstain/stein Bears thing, but way way way gnarlier.
  2. The setting
    Amsterdam. In 1933, Anne's family emigrates to Holland after Hitler takes over as leader of the German government. But then WW2 breaks out and Germany invades the Netherlands.
  3. The line
    Today, The Anne Frank House is a popular tourist attraction along a busy canal. The wait takes about half an hour but they provide free Wi-Fi as a consolation.
  4. The stairwells
    Otto Frank sets up a business, distributing herbs and fruit extract. On the morning of Monday, July 6, 1942, the family movies into the secret annex. Only four employees were privy to their hiding. A week later, another family and their dentist join the Franks.
  5. The secret doorway
    ... disguised as a bookcase, opens up to a few tiny rooms and another steep staircase to the attic.
  6. The blacked out shades
    Anne and her sister were never to open the shades, not even a crack. They bathed once a week on the ground floor, with one on lookout at all times.
  7. The wall decorations
    It's within these walls that Anne decorates as a typical teenage girl would. For her 13th birthday, her dad gives her an autograph book she'd asked for, and Anne makes it her diary. She writes about the war, but also short stories and favorite sentences by other writers. She hopes to publish the diary as a novel after the war, so she begins rewriting it, but never finishes.
  8. The final steps
    ...because she is discovered and arrested two years later on August 4, 1944. One of the four employees has betrayed the family perhaps, but we never find out who.
  9. The view
    Anne and the others are deported to a transit camp, then Auschwitz. Only 5,000 of the 107,000 Jews deported from the Netherlands survived.
  10. The diary
    Anne's dad knew she was keeping a diary, but she insisted that it stay private. After Auschwitz was liberated, Otto returns to Amsterdam to discover that everyone has died. He finds her diaries and is moved by how profound and mature his daughter was. Because he knew she longed to be a author, he worked to get her diary published.
  11. The final thoughts
    "For me, it was a revelation. There, was revealed a completely different Anne to the child that I had lost. I had no idea of the depths of her thoughts and feelings ... And my conclusion is, since I had been in very good terms with Anne, that most parents don't really know their children." - Otto Frank