Please sign in to post.

Anne Frank Museum

Any thoughts on visiting the Anne Frank Museum?
I have so much planned-is the museum worth spending time?

Posted by
216 posts

I found it a very powerful experience. They first time I went I was in my very early 20's had remembered reading her diary in high school and was very moved by the words of a girl who was not much younger than me when I read it for the first time. I went again a few years ago. The museum had expanded but still had the same powerful effect on me. It is a personal decision. If you decide to go and have to already read it I recommend reading her diary.

If you go be sure to book your tickets on line.

Wendy

Posted by
6410 posts

If you really want to go make sure you look to book your time slot months in advance. It took me about an hour an 30 minutes to walk through it.

Posted by
1932 posts

As already mentioned, it was a powerful experience. The tour is about an hour and a half. We were there a couple weeks ago. Another book to read prior to visiting is Anne Frank Remembered, by Miep Gies. We also visited the amazing Dutch Resistence Museum. We also hired Jewish Historian Naomi Koopmans. We toured the Portuguese Synagogue, the Jewish Museum and Holocaust Memorial. We felt her tour gave us an in depth understanding of Jewish history in Amsterdam. We were especially fortunate to have a private tour with Naomi. Highly recommend her.

Posted by
472 posts

I'll probably be a lone voice but in 2 trips to Amsterdam I've never been to the museum. In part because of the lines and need to pre-purchase tickets but also because I just didn't want to. I too read the diary and saw the movie. I have also read Leon Uris' "Mila 18" and Russell Shorto's "Amsterdam: A History of the World's Most Liberal City". What happened to the jews in WWII was horrendous and sad. I did want to visit the Amsterdam Dutch Resistance Museum but ran out of time. I'm more inspired by people who fought back in spite of the danger.

Posted by
18 posts

I think it's definitely worth the time for everyone, but you do have to pre-plan a visit here, and if you have your heart set on other sights to see in limited time, you can always save this for another trip. But I'm a World War II history buff, and I'm big on historical museums, so it already would interest me. Walking around the Nine Little Streets stores and Amsterdam "coffeehouses" didn't interest me. And I had already visited Auschwitz on another trip through Germany. Really, to each their own.

The conveyor belt-type walking tour should take about 90 minutes.

By the way, I have actually never read her diary. So you don't really have to have that much prior knowledge to still gain something from a visit.

Posted by
10243 posts

This is very worthwhile if you have an interest in the subject ( and who wouldn't). After you get in (purchase in advance with time slot for entry), you walk through the house in a line with everyone else, then you come to the "museum" part.

Posted by
1250 posts

As have been stated by quite a few, I thought it was totally worth it. If you do go, I highly recommend that you purchase you ticket ahead of time.

Posted by
2361 posts

To me, this museum is the #1 reason you go to Amsterdam. It's so amazing that they were able to go undetected for so long in an area surrounded by people and buildings. Anne Frank puts the face of an individual on the atrocities, which makes the unreal real.

Posted by
4805 posts

How much time do you have, and where in your priorities is this? Even with booking tickets ahead this will take up most of a morning or afternoon, maybe more of an impact depending on the timing of the entry.

For many, and I will say of a certain age, it resonates and moves them because they read the book as a school assignment, or performed in the play as an adolescent...so they connect. For others, who are not so associated with the story, it can be interesting, but maybe worth asking the question, is it worth the hassle, effort and time? Younger people get less out of it I think, like I said, if you do not know the story, you get less out of it, but it depends on your experience.

Without knowing your whole schedule and interests, there is no way anyone can tell you if you should go or not, but since you are questioning it, then likely your time would be spent better elsewhere.

Posted by
5398 posts

Perfectly said, Cala.

I always feel nearly an honor-bound duty to visit Holocaust-related sites. I do truly believe we have an obligation to remember and honor those who were so cruelly persecuted and killed — that their memories not be lost, and that we not let ourselves fall to such madness again.

If you have not read Anne’s diary, I highly recommend it.

It was 75 years and two days ago that Anne and her sister Margot arrived at Bergen-Belsen. I always find it so chilling when I realize they were taken after D-Day.

I would say they displayed a great deal of courage in trying to stay alive in such enormously terrible times when everything was stacked against them; I really don’t understand CJ Traveler’s last comment— it’s as if you weren’t out there with a weapon you weren’t brave??!!

I'm more inspired by people who fought back in spite of the danger.

?!!!!!!!!

Posted by
1932 posts

@Cala and Kim,
Thank you both for your heartfelt messages. I waited my whole life to to visit the Anne Frank House. We all have different reasons to visit. Growing up in a predominately Jewish neighborhood in Seattle WA. we had first hand knowledge about the Holocaust. We had a group of Holocaust families who shared their stories. Similar stories as Anne Frank's. I listened to all the stories, read books, but it wasn't until I went to Amsterdam and several Central European countries did I even imagine the extent of the suffering. Yes, I feel that it's important to keep telling the stories. We should never forget.

FYI, Anne Frank's stepsister Eva Schloss, who is now 90 years old is touring the USA to keep Anne's story alive. She will be speaking in Seattle on Nov. 5 at the University of Washington. Schloss is one of 500,000 Holocaust survivors. There are an estimated 85,000 survivors living the the United States.

Posted by
5398 posts

I never know why honoring Holocaust victims became important to me, but I suspect it is because of having read Anne’s diary when I was a young girl myself. I don’t remember if it was assigned in school or if I picked it up on my own.

A few days ago, a former boss of mine posted photos honoring his late mother-in-law, who had just passed. Including a famous photo from Westerbork where she was among girls and women in a barracks at the camp who somehow celebrated Chanukah. He juxtaposed that with a photo of her maybe 15 years ago lighting the menorah with her granddaughters, who are now mothers themselves. A powerful reminder of all those other descendants who never were.

Posted by
113 posts

I just came back from Amsterdam a couple weeks ago. Since we only had two and a half days to spend there I felt I had to really choose what I wanted to see. At first, I was not too interested in visiting the Anne Frank house, I thought I already knew what the experience would be like and I could easily skip it. I'm glad I reconsidered this and was able to purchase tickets ahead of time. Both my husband and I were deeply moved, especially while walking through the actual rooms where the Frank family lived. The audio was interesting and touching. No regrets about my time spend here.

Posted by
424 posts

In July, I visited the Anne Frank House, Portuguese synagogue, and Jewish museum. I am happy I visited the places just to say I visited them. I feel compelled to visit at least one or more Jewish related sites each time I travel to Europe. Maybe this has something to do with being Jewish according to heritage. Anne Frank and her family’s experience was not typical for most Holocaust victims. I did read the diary when I was about 11. Most victims were killed in mass shootings, died of disease in ghettos, were gassed in death camps or worked to death in slave-labor camps. I have never been to the remains of a death camp but I would think the remains of Auschwitz or any other death camp that has been turned into a memorial or museum would be a more significant Holocaust related sight. There are monuments or memorials at the sights of mass shootings too. You - you personally, not everybody reading this- probably would be just as happy if you skip the Anne Frank House. There are more significant holocaust related sights in Poland, Lithuania, and possibly in other countries.

Posted by
113 posts

We were in Amsterdam in October and only had two days there. Initially, I considered visiting the AF house and thought I don't have enough time and I can skip this. Fortunately we changed out minds and bought tickets in advance. Took us about an hour to go through. So glad we did - it was deeply moving for both my husband and I. We both felt her presence there and what the family must have gone through to remain in hiding for so long. I highly recommend. In fact, when I returned home, I read the diary for the first time. Wished I had read it prior to my visit. I say, just go. You won't regret.

Posted by
1932 posts

In addition to the books recommended up thread, I would also recommend a new book called "Shedding Our Stars: The Story of Hans Calmeyer and How he saved Thousands of Families Like Mine." The author Laureen Nussbaum lived in the same neighborhood as Anne Frank. Laureen now lives in Seattle. Her story was featured December 1 in the Seattle Sunday Times. It's stories like hers that reminds us to never forget.

Posted by
1619 posts

“Powerful experience” sums it up; I can’t easily describe my (first) visit. It was in 1972. We have visited many, many Holocaust sites, memorials, and camps but none had the impact on me that I felt as I walked through their house and their lives. I won’t forget it.