From hiding place to museum - The history of the Anne Frank House (7)

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Anne Frank Huis. Eerste ruimte van de museumroute. 
Anne Frank House. First room of the museum route.
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Although much has changed since Anne Frank House first opened its doors in 1960, a lot has remained the same. Even the building itself underwent major reconstruction in the early nineties in order to reflect its original pre-war state as accurately as possible.

Anne Frank House

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Over the years, the events of the Second World War have increasingly been relegated to the annals of history. As the generation who survived the war dies out, the stories that this generation of young people hears about the war are no longer told by their parents or even grandparents.

For that reason alone, Anne Frank House considers itself charged with an important educational role. It tells the story of the murder of the six million Jews who died during the Second World War by focusing on the fate of the few victims who hid there.

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Otto’s vision for the organization that bears his daughter's name was that it would become a place for young people and an international meeting point.

Although Anne Frank House has become more of a museum over the years, its popularity with young people the world over means that, in a certain sense, it still maintains its role as international meeting place for youth.

The most noticeable change over the years, and in fact a source of constant change, has been the steady increase in the number of visitors. The immense public interest in the museum is also reflected in the number of celebrities, both national and international, who have visited Anne Frank House over the years.

Otto Frank met Koningin Juliana bij draaibare boekenkast (1979) Bezoek Hillary Clinton Yasser Arafat
From top to bottom: Otto Frank shows Queen Juliana the movable bookcase; Hillary Rodham Clinton during a visit to Anne Frank House; Yasser Arafat visiting Anne Frank House.

The reason for the international phenomenon that is Anne Frank House is difficult to ascertain. Is it due to the eloquence of Anne’s diary? The travelling exhibitions and many other activities that the Foundation organises abroad? Or the memory – which has never fully been processed – of the horrors of the Second World War?  
 
But perhaps the reasons are best expressed by the visitors themselves. These are just a few out of thousands of reactions written by visitors at the end of the tour:

  • "Our second time here – the changes are good as the house is now more educational." (May 6, 2009)
  • "An excellent + moving exhibition, especially for my 2 children." (May 29, 2009)  
  • "(…) a very moving, friendly and informative place. I would happily come again." (June 6, 2009)
  • "A place in which there is still life after 'death'." (June 16, 2009)
  • "Excellent museum. Eye opener. Well kept. Well worth to come again." (July 28, 2009)


Saved from demolition Building is saved

The building at Prinsengracht 263 and the properties adjacent to it were in a dilapidated state after the war.

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Juli 1968, zomerconferentie

International Youth Centre Otto Frank’s dream

Otto Frank’s vision for Anne Frank House was to turn it into an international youth centre.

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Renovation, expansion and conservation Restoration and transformation

After its initial restoration and opening in 1960, Anne Frank House has undergone two major additional renovations...

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Minister Ronald Plasterk kijkt met belangstelling naar een getrouwe kopie van het dagboek van Anne Frank

All original writings on display Famous manuscripts

Among the items on display inside Anne Frank House are the original diaries and samples of other writing that Anne produced…

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Fototentoonstelling over Vietnamoorlog, jaren zestig

Informative exhibitions Social issues

Since its opening to the public, the Anne Frank House has proven itself to be much more than a historic museum.

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Anne Frank Huis. Bezoekers bekijken de maquette van het huis.
Anne Frank House. Visitors looking at the model of the house.

Visitors over the years

Anne Frank House is often a busy place...

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Anne Frank Huis. Eerste ruimte van de museumroute. 
Anne Frank House. First room of the museum route.

More history? Educational role

Although much has changed since Anne Frank House first opened its doors in 1960, a lot has remained the same...

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