The tour books I had read beforehand suggested buying tickets in advance to avoid long lines. How long can the lines be on New Year’s Eve, I thought to myself. Apparently very…
Long. Like, an hour and a half long, as I described in this post. Waiting sucks, but waiting in 30°F weather is nothing short of terrible.
|I'm smiling through the pain, but Frank is not|
So, first thing you need to know about the Anne Frank House…
Book tickets in advance
|Frank is glad to have something to focus|
on besides the freezing cold
Which brings me to the second thing you need to know…
The brochure is exactly like the actual museum
Same quotes, same pictures. Sure, the museum has a few more things, but not many. For example, the brochure details some of the pictures of celebrities you’ll find on the wall in Anne’s room. When you see Anne’s room, you see the pictures from the brochure, and a few others. And you see the exact same quotes from the brochure.
Still, even though the brochure explains much of the house, you should still be prepared for the third point about the Anne Frank House…
It is very, very crowded
The house is not big, although it is bigger than you expect, with five rooms:
· A bedroom for Anne and Mr. Dussel
· A bedroom for Anne’s mother, father, and sister
· A bedroom for Mr. and Mrs. van Pels (also the living room and kitchen)
· The attic, where Peter van Pels slept and food was kept
· The bathroom
So it takes awhile to move hundreds and thousands of visitors through. But, even with crowds, you’ll be surprised how long it takes to move through the house because…
There’s not actually anything in the Anne Frank House
The rooms are mostly empty. It’s a poignant statement that Anne Frank’s father insisted on leaving because when the Gestapo discovered the Frank family and the others in hiding, they cleared the secret location out. So, when Otto Frank came home, the only one alive from the secret annex, he basically said, “Keep the house the way the Gestapo left it.” It makes sense, and it hits home about the way the Jewish people were treated during this time. There are pictures in the rooms depicting a recreation of how the rooms did look at the time.
|Postcard from the museum. Photo by: Allard Bovenberg|
You cannot take pictures in the Anne Frank House
Which, I get, I totally do. Except, you can take pictures of 3,000-year-old things in Rome, but you can’t take pictures of 80-year-old things here. Most of the objects in the Anne Frank House are paper-based, so I’m sure a flash would ruin that. Maybe they could have said “no flash photography?”
Many of the objects are not explained
I took that picture in one of the last rooms of the house, not a room where Anne Frank and the others hid, but still a room you walk through. It showcased all eight people who lived in the house, explained what happened to them in the end, and showed a memento from their life. Except, I wasn’t sure what exactly the memento meant. It certainly looked old and interesting, it would have been nice to know. So you may have to do some pre- or post-research on what you will find inside the house.
The history of Anne Frank, and the rest of the Jewish people who faced persecution, is extremely important to remember. I admire her, the seven people she lived with, and the other six million Jews who faced this travesty. But be prepared to be a bit surprised at your experience and the time it takes to get into the house (about an hour) and go through it (about an hour). If you don’t have two hours, check out the 3-D tour online.