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Jeff Werner

Designer in Vancouver, Canada. Secretary of the 221A Artist Run Centre, member of Fieldwork design collective, and former exhibit designer at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum and the Vancouver Aquarium. Graduate of Emily Carr and University of Victoria, and worked in the Philippines, Indonesia and the Netherlands. Cycling advocate and race on the Garneau Evolution team.

design netherlands Daily Activities Goods and Services Reading Travel, June 4, 2008 7:48 AM 26 comments

Anne Frank House

Anne Frank diary open

I likely first heard about the Diary of Anne Frank in grade school, though I don't recall reading the actual diary. I never gave her much thought again until I happened to walk past the Anne Frank Huis, now a museum and major tourist attraction, on my first visit to Amsterdam in 2003.

At that time I vaguely understood the significance of this teenager who, along with her family and four others, hid in an attic apartment in Amsterdam during the German occupation in WWII.

Last year I discovered one of the most memorable albums in my collection--an album inseparable in my memories from a first year of art school, the closest of friends, drunk at 2am and commandeering East side house party stereos in order to belt out the lyrics and jump alongside of--i.e. In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, is partially about Anne Frank:

The only girl I've ever loved
Was born with roses in her eyes
But then they buried her alive
One evening 1945
With just her sister at her side
And only weeks before the guns
All came and rained on everyone
-- Lyric excerpt from Holland, 1945

When I was accepted as an exchange student at a design school in Holland earlier this year I realized I might have a more personal response to the story. So I read the wikipedia entry.

The Anne Frank story is the saddest and most uplifting story I know. And I haven't read the diary yet. What really touches me is Anne's extreme privacy over her journal (in one video exhibited at the Anne Frank Huis, Miep Gies recalls accidentally disturbing Anne in the act of writing in private, and the scowling response Anne threw her), her longing to be a writer, the death of her sister in the concentration camp, and days later, with no hope in sight, her own demise merely weeks before liberation. And more so, to me, the events after her death: Otto Frank the sole family survivor is given the diary and finds he never guessed at the depth of emotion and insight his daughter carried.

Most parent's don't know, really, their children.
-- Otto Frank, on reading his daughter's diary for the first time. Video excerpt at th Anne Frank Huis.

So I lined up at 9:00am with another 100 tourists at the Anne Frank Huis today. Photography was prohibited inside. The extensive documentation included apartment tenant logs, listing many as having 'moved out', reproductions of Anne's movie star clippings and wall decorations, recipes, and finally the Nazi documents of their final capture; brief documentary interviews with survivors who knew the Franks; and the chance to tour the Secret Annex.

The following images are scans taken from memorabilia bought at the Huis gift store, including the latest edition of The Diary of a Young Girl, a bookmark, postcards of the original diary, and the entrance ticket:

Anne Frank House Huis ticket

Anne Frank House paper gift bag with drawing of the house from the outside Anne Frank Diary book cover

Anne Frank diary closed Anne Frank writing at her desk

Anne Frank House Huis from the outside

26 comments on Anne Frank House

1. lizsu | June 6, 2008 12:49 PM

wow, that sounds like a really emotional experience to re-live her hidden life with her. how did you feel after you left the building?

2. Jeff Werner | June 7, 2008 5:04 AM

Yes, it was very sad, especially as the tour takes you chronologically through the events of the Annex and you know how the story ends.

I really just wanted to be alone somewhere dark and think about her.

3. Anonymous | November 12, 2008 10:38 AM

wow

4. mayra Gomez | December 8, 2008 9:55 AM

it was really sad

5. jasmineedwards | December 16, 2008 6:28 PM

Anne Frank waz a beautiful gurl and she had the right to do wat she did and Adolf Hitler OOOOOOOOOOOO.... I just dont want to say his name he was just a horible person but Anne Frank was the most beautiful and intelligent gurl I ever herd history about that flashed through my head and said WOW...

6. POOJA | December 23, 2008 11:11 AM

I REALLY HATE HITLER
I HOPE NO ONE LIKE HIM WILL EVER BE BORN
ANNE FRANK HAD LOTS OF DREAMS: GOING TO PARIS, BECOMING A WRITER
THEN HITLER (I DONT EVEN WANT TO SAY HIS NAME)
HAD TO COME AND SHATTER THEM
IF I WAS ALIVE BETWEEN THE YEARS OF THE WAR, I WOULD HAVE STABBED HIM TO DEATH THATS HOW MUCH I HATE HIM
I AM GLAD HE COMMITTED SUICIED
I HOPE HIS FAMILY IS DEAD TOO FROM ALL OF THE SHAME ADOLF HILER HAS LED TO THEIR LIVES.
WHENEVER I HEAR THE NAME ANNW I REMEMBER ANNE FRANK AND THE DREADFUL END OF HER LIFE
I BURST INTO TEARS AND I WANT TO BE LONE SOME TIMES
ANNE FRANK HAD ONLY ONE KISS; THE LAST KISS OF HER LIFE
RIGHT NOW I WANT TO BE ALONE
CAN YOU BELIVE THAT SHE WAS IN THAT SMALL,CRAMPED ATTIC FOR OVER 1 YEAR
SHE DREAMT OF MEETING, HANA HER FRIEND AT A CONSENTRATION CAMP AND THAT DEAM CAME TRUE
IF IT WERENT FOR HITLER ANNE WOULD MIGHT STILL BE ALIVE



7. Paige Lamb | January 9, 2009 11:58 AM

Wow i would love to go to the museum.
Im only 11 and i've read Annes diary many times and i still cry when i see the last sentence; Annes diary ends here.
I watched the series based on her diary this week on BBC 1 and i enjoyed it so much (it was exactly like the diary) Im gonna buy it on 12th January when the DVD comes out. Whats even sadder is that she wanted to be a writer and I hope shes now in peace knowing that people all around the world know now what she suffered.

8. Gina | January 18, 2009 10:27 PM

I was lucky enough to visit the Anne Frank house in the early 90's. I read her diary on the way there from Germany where my husband and I were stationed so that I could remember everything as I entered each room. It was an experience that I will never forget and I think about alot. I was also very blessed that I was able to meet Miep in San Antonio, TX just a couple years later when we were stationed there. I have Miep's book that she wrote, autographed by her. It was simply amazing, no words can describe listening to her speak of Anne.

9. sierra | February 1, 2009 11:50 AM

Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

10. Tabassum Damania | February 3, 2009 1:50 PM

ifeel sorry for anne frank.It was simply amazing, no words can describe listening to her speak of Anne.i think she is a famouse girl to me
they all suffocated a lot in there lives.
after i read her story i wa so depressed baecouse she had to tolerate all this things.but if her farther was not alive then we woudnt even know about ann frank.
I was lucky enough to read anne frank dairy or else i woudnt even know what happened to anne frank.i wish she was still alive unfortunatel NO.Anne Frank waz a beautiful gurl and she had the right to do wat she did and Adolf Hitler.just dont want to say his name he was just a horible person but Anne Frank was the most beautiful and intelligent gurl I ever herd history about that flashed through my head and said WOW...

11. Tabassum Damania | February 3, 2009 1:52 PM

ifeel sorry for anne frank.It was simply amazing, no words can describe listening to her speak of Anne.i think she is a famouse girl to me
they all suffocated a lot in there lives.
after i read her story i wa so depressed baecouse she had to tolerate all this things.but if her farther was not alive then we woudnt even know about ann frank.
I was lucky enough to read anne frank dairy or else i woudnt even know what happened to anne frank.i wish she was still alive unfortunatel NO.Anne Frank waz a beautiful gurl and she had the right to do wat she did and Adolf Hitler.just dont want to say his name he was just a horible person but Anne Frank was the most beautiful and intelligent gurl I ever herd history about that flashed through my head and said WOW...

12. Daisney | February 8, 2009 7:47 AM

Anne Frank is an insperation to everybody

13. ema macedonia 13 sk | February 15, 2009 10:14 AM

ANNA ls a wonderful girl, girl wfth dreams, and with future but hitler was the evalest person and he tae her dreams,he was took of every jewish dream. for me anne and every jewish is inseration and i think to many, many athersl\l

14. kat | February 15, 2009 2:03 PM

i miss anne frank.
she was my best friend.
i new her because she was my neighbor and i was german. one day i couldnt tlk 2 her any more.
i didnt understand why though.
i miss my anne!

15. Anonymous | February 24, 2009 5:51 AM

hitlers gay

16. Anonymous | February 24, 2009 4:34 PM

Im Jewish!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
lalalalalaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!!!
i

17. Brian | February 24, 2009 4:38 PM

If Hitler did even start it you wount even know that anna was even alive!!!!!!!!!!!

18. lesly | February 27, 2009 9:09 AM

I think that Hitler should have been more nicer to the people and not as harsh to them as he was before.

19. Unknown | February 27, 2009 9:10 AM

i tohught that the book was very interesting and it was sad but i loved how she found romances with henry and a couple other boys.. :p

20. Anonymous | March 2, 2009 9:15 AM

I LOVE THE BOOK!!

21. diamondd | March 7, 2009 4:29 AM

this book reminds me of my mom and i we had to leave because my step dad tried killing her he was just like hitler and guses what i hate hitler for doing to anne frank she had a rigth to run away

22. CACA | March 11, 2009 2:55 PM

ITS SD IT MADE ME CRY!!!!

23. kate | March 23, 2009 10:38 AM

anne frank was a good girl but there as alot of people who love hitler. how could they....

24. LiLGANGSTA4RMDA402 | March 24, 2009 11:41 AM

omj (oh my jonas) i can't believe
how STUPiD HiLTER iS!!!! anne
frank sufferd for all of and for
all of you guy's that dont care
GET A LiFE!!!! >=[

25. Edreyes | March 26, 2009 3:07 PM

Anne Frank is my hero. I look up to her.Even though she isnt here.my sister kristi has a diary and she writes in it just like Anne. =) and whin i am finish i hope to publish it. And people can read it . I love Anne Frank. I AM OBESSED WITH HER BOOK.
I LOVE ANNE FRANK!!!!!!!

YOURS ANNIE

26. jodie | January 6, 2010 8:10 AM

when i go to heven im going to see her i pray evry night it so sad she dide im only a kid but i love her she is so nice and beautiful poor anne frank i hate the nazys i feel sorry for her

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