We had a very special tour prebooked (helpful touring tip!), The Anne Frank House. Oldest Kiddo read a biography of Anne Frank last year so we knew she’d like it. Her knowledge of Anne’s story ended about the time of their capture. She knew they were taken to the concentration camp, but I know she didn’t have an understanding of what happened after their capture.
Before we left for Amsterdam we had a heartfelt discussion about what she might see at the house. I wanted her to be prepared if she saw photos or read anything about the Concentration Camps. She understood what we told her, but she didn’t understand why people were treated that way. That’s one question we could not answer.
The Anne Frank House is on an unassuming street along the canals. The only indication was the line of people around the corner (please, please book your ticket in advance). There are no words to describe what it felt like walking through the bookcase into The Annex. We walked through all rooms. There was no furniture, just artifacts on the wall. We could see the growth lines on the wall showing the height of the children. One particular spot that made my heart hurt was walking through Peter van Pel's bedroom. It had a small staircase up to the attic that Anne would race to each morning to get the only fresh air she was allowed. From her perch in the attic, she could see a small bit of the near by clock tower.
When we returned to the street, my thoughts returned to the time with the Frank’s were in the annex. The city did not stop when the Franks were in hiding. People continued to go to work on the very sidewalk in front of the house. Boats continued down the canal in front of the house.
The tour did not show graphic scenes from the Concentration Camps. One room had small televisions with some video playing, but Youngest Kiddo was my partner at this time and I did not get a good look. However, I think if anything was shown it was quick. The whole family took the tour, even Youngest Kiddo. It was not the best place for a four-year-old boy that would rather be outside, but he made it through.
It’s a must go whilst in Amsterdam.