When World War II was raging, teenager Anne Frank was writing her famous diary of how she and other Jewish people hid from the Nazis. If someone is going to be visiting the Netherlands for the first time, this historic old home is a must-see. It is located on a channel known as the Prinsengracht, which is close by the Westerkerk, in the central part of the city of Amsterdam in the Netherlands.
This 17th-century channel house had a hidden room that became to be called the Secret Annex where Anne Frank hid along with four more people for two years. Sadly, Anne Frank died in one of the Nazi concentration camps before the war ended, but her diary was preserved by Otto Frank, her father, as he survived the war. Visiting the Anne Frank House is a sobering experience for the young and all about the trials and tribulations, the Jews faced in WWII from Hitler and the Nazis.
The teen’s diary started being read by many others in 1947, and then ten years later the Anne Frank Foundation was started in order to protect the famous house from being destroyed. Now it is one of the many attractions in the Netherlands that visitors want to see for themselves.
Here are ten facts regarding one of the most visited sites in the Netherlands today:
10 The House Has A Mysterious Entrance
The door to Anne Frank’s secret hiding space was covered by a bureau that rotated, which was built for that very purpose. Staff from the business, which was located in the house, managed to provide the hiding people with everyday needed items such as food, water, and news of what was going on in the world. Sadly, the space was discovered on August 4, 1944. All the people inside, including Anne Frank, were sent to various concentration camps, and Otto Frank was the sole survivor after the war was over.
9 Famous Chestnut Tree Grew In Front Of The House
Anne Frank was said to have gazed onto a chestnut tree located outside her house. She wrote about the tree in her diary. When the Amsterdam Council wished to get rid of the tree in 2007, the court voted to keep the tree. Sadly, a storm knocked the tree over three years later. One odd fact about the tree is that a single nut taken from it got put on eBay and bids started at $700 and went up from there.
8 The House Original Structure Also Used As Exhibition Hall
The famous Anne Frank House was constructed in two parts: the main home as well as an addition. After Otto Frank got rescued from the concentration camp when the war was over, he vowed to preserve the house. The home offered up the entryway for an exhibition hall after the war, but despite Otto Frank’s solicitation regarding the addition to the home, it stayed empty. During the war, it was originally Otto’s place of business, but during the hiding phase he, along with Anne, Fritz Pfeffer, and the Van Pels family stowed away there.
7 There Aren’t Any Furniture Or Other Items Inside The Anne Frank House
Strangely, the rooms inside the famous Anne Frank House don’t contain any type of furnishings or furniture. Otto wanted it to be displayed the same as it was during the war after the Nazis took everything from it. However, the Anne Frank diary holds information, along with some photos and films, on some of the things that originally happened in the home and what was in it. Now, visitors will see all of these, along with other interesting items from that timeframe when visiting the home.
6 Anne Frank Diary Room
Inside this room is where Anne Frank received the red checkered diary when she turned 13. Only six months later the whole Frank family had to isolate even further, and some of her diary notes were done via a scratchpad. She wanted to preserve the diary to tell others about her experiences during WWII after she learned public officials were going to try to put together wartime journals. She made a modified version consisting of 215 pages, and a few of these are sometimes put on display for visitors to read.
5 Some Pages Were Missing From The Famous Diary
The world learned in 1998 that there were five pages missing from the famous diary. Her father Otto removed them because they contained information on Anne’s relationship with her mom, and what she thought about her parents and their marriage. In 2016, Anne Frank researchers actually also found two pages that had been hidden previously by a brown paper covering them up. It was revealed those pages contained some of Anne’s private thoughts on sex. Every ten years researchers examine the notebooks from her diary and otherwise, they are kept in a safe place for storage.
4 The Anne Frank Museum Is The Second Most Visited Amsterdam Museum
The Anne Frank House comes in second for how often this museum is visited. First in line for the most visitors is the Van Gogh Museum. The Anne Frank House gets many visitors of all ages, and annually these amount to one and a half million people coming through the door. Around one-third of these visitors are less than 30 years old. Tickets to come to see the famous Anne Frank House must be bought online. Tours are done in nine different languages.
3 There Is An Online Option For Visiting The Anne Frank House
If a person can’t actually come to the Netherlands to visit the famous Anne Frank House, it can be visited virtually and they can learn all about Anne Frank in videos. It is also available on YouTube with 15 episodes to watch. The series of events, people, locations, etc. are based on the diary letters Anne Frank wrote. There is also a special app where someone can view the Anne Frank House using virtual reality.
2 The Anne Frank House Is Not Handicapped Accessible
Due to its historic nature, the Anne Frank House is not set up to be handicapped accessible, but wheelchairs are available if desired. There is also no cloakroom as well as visitors are not allowed to bring in big backpacks. Visitors can pick up a free flyer about the House and it is available in eight different languages. Visitors are not allowed to film inside the home as well as cannot take any type of pictures. A visit to the home is expected to take about one hour to complete.
1 Anne Frank Addressed Her Diary To “Kitty”
Much of Anne Frank’s original diary appears to be written as letters that were addressed to someone named “Kitty.” No one knows if this was a real person or not, and many have debated this fact. It was known that prior to the war Anne Frank had a friend whose name was Kitty, but many folks do not think that person is who she is referring to in the letters. As with some of the other interesting, but unknown facts about Frank and the diary, the world will never know the answer to this mystery.