Most people who visit the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam know the basic info of Anne Frank:
Anne Frank was a Jewish girl, born in Germany, who ran from Nazi-Germany in the 1930s with her family. She came to Amsterdam.
When the Second World War began and the Nazis occupied the Netherlands she and her family hid in the secret back rooms (‘Het Achterhuis‘) of an Amsterdam canal house (Prinsengracht 263) for 2 years.
Anne kept a diary throughout this time.
In 1944 Anne was sent to concentration camp Bergen-Belsen, where she died, 16 years of age, of typhus, just like her sister. A friend of the family found the diary and gave it to Anne’s father, who was the only one of the family to survive the war. He decided to publish the diary. Over 20 million copies were sold. Since 1960 the former ‘back house’ where the Frank family hid is open for visitors.
The Anne Frank Museum is now one of the main tourist attractions in Amsterdam.
Here are 10 things you didn’t know about Anne Frank:
1. Anne Frank nuts
In August 2010 the chestnut three Anne Frank looked out on from her hiding place was toppled in a storm. Only 3 years before that the tree had been the centre of attention because the Amsterdam council planned to chop it down. It appeared to be in danger of falling over. People were shocked to hear that. A court decided the tree could maintain in the garden. Also, a nut from the tree was sold on eBay for €7,000.
2. Miep Gies
In January 2010 Miep Gies died, aged 100 years old. Miep was a friend who hid the family in the attic above Anne’s father place of business. Miep was the one who found Anne’s diary and gave it to Anne’s father.
3. Comic book about Anne Frank
Not only has the book sold well, there have been movies, theatrical plays and musicals based on the diary as well as a comic book/graphical novel. There is also a traveling exhibit of the Anne Frank House and an Anne Frank exhibit gallery in New York.
4. Anne Frank on You Tube
Anne Frank has been captured on film by accident. The video of Anne Frank has been uploaded to You Tube by the Anne Frank Centre.
5. Anne Frank’s diary was censured
In 1998 it turned out that the diary of Anne Frank was not the whole story. Anne’s father had cut out 5 pages of the diary. The new info of Anne Frank was about personal information that her father preferred to keep secret. On these 5 pages Anne describe her views on her parents’ marriage and her difficult relations with her mother.
6. Anne quoted Shakespeare
Anne didn’t only write a diary, she also wrote down notes and quotes that she read and heard. The ‘beautiful phrases-book’, as she called it has also been published. She took many quotes that she liked about justice, happiness, war and love from writers such as Shakespeare, Multatuli, Wilde, Goethe and Maerlant.
7. The betrayal of Anne Frank
It is clear that Anne Frank and her family and the location of the secret hiding place were not discovered by chance by the Gestapo. They were betrayed by someone. Who betrayed them and why, has been discussed in some books: in Melissa Muller’s Anne Frank: the Biography and Carol Ann Lee’s The Hidden Life of Otto Frank, but evidence was never substantiated.
8. Anne Frank museum 2nd most visited museum in Amsterdam
The most popular museum in Amsterdam is the Van Gogh Museum. Anne Franks House is second and receives about 1,5 million visitors a year. The house itself is quite small (obviously), so there is a spacious building built next to it that serves as an exhibition space.
Skip the line
Long lines of people wait outside to get in the Anne Frank House, so it’s best to come early (at 9 AM) or late (after 6 PM) or buy Anne Frank House tickets online in advance.
9. Youthful visitors
Anne Franks House is a nice museum for children and youngsters to visit. A third of the visitors is under 30 years old.
10. John F. Kennedy was a fan
Even American president John F. Kennedy read The diary of Anne Frank. In a 1961 speech he said: ‘Of all the multitudes who throughout history have spoken for human dignity in times of great suffering and loss, no voice is more compelling than that of Anne Frank.’