As we moved through the steep staircases, rooms and narrow corridors of this historic and poignant multistoried house, my first reaction was a sense of reverence. The multiethnic crowd was very quiet, very polite, and very curious. The tour was well designed and it wasn’t hard to imagine the horror of being cooped up in those few dreary and crowded rooms, barely able to see the light of day or experience fresh air, totally dependent on the goodwill of friends to bring food, magazines, and simple creature comforts. The cruelest part of the agony the 8 people in hiding had to endure was the fact that they were betrayed and arrested after two long years. All were deported to Nazi concentration camps, and only one, the father Otto Frank, survived the war. Anne Frank died of typhus at Bergen-Belsen 9 months after she was captured—only one month short of Allied liberation in April 1945. I was mesmerized by the actual pages from her diary that were on display.
Reunited at last!
“When I write I can shake off all my cares. My sorrow disappears, my spirits are revived!” Anne Frank, 5 April 1944