Blogging from Amsterdam

entrance ticketI have been here in Amsterdam for two days and absolutely love the city. I am lucky, as the weather is clement. There are so many things to see that it is a bit overwhelming, and three and a half days will just make me feel like I want to come back soon.
I visited Ann Frank’s House yesterday and was deeply moved. The house is very simple and a lot is left to imagination. Otto Frank has decided not to furnish the house the way it used to be and I think he was right.
Anne Frank’s Diary was published when I was a teenager myself and struck many sensitive and painful chords then, and somehow, it all came back to me, visiting this house where she hid with her family all these years and where she was arrested and taken to deportation.
My mother’s family perished in the holocaust and for years, she didn’t know and wasn’t sure about what had happened to them. So even though I had a happy childhood, there were always these shadows in the background and a deep sadness in my mother. But what I knew from her family was from photographs and stories that my mother told us.
When Anne Frank’s Diary was published, to me, she felt like family, like an older sister that I knew and that I could mourn for. Somehow, I felt her to be closer to me than my own family.
You can see Anne Frank’s statue in Amsterdam here.

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4 thoughts on “Blogging from Amsterdam

  1. Yes, know what you mean about reading Anne Frank. I read it under similar circumstances, and had similar reactions. It was at the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam, many years ago, that I first learned about groups who denied the existence of the Holocaust.

  2. I didn’t know that the house was still around. The Diary had a great impact on me as a young teenager and now I want to read it again knowing that the house is there. Mother gave me the book and we watched films but it was Anne’s story made it all real. I have no idea what a family feels, only through your words, and the generations it impacted with that seed planted so long ago. I wonder what it will feel like to read it again now. Off to Amazon to do a quick purchase. I’ve been looking for something to read and look forward to reading it again as an adult.

    Your stories are so interesting Claude. Your family history teaches and entertains us all. I look to see what they are wearing, wonder what they thought. Thank you for sharing your stories with us.

  3. Did you read my grand-mother journal ? (in french) you should
    I published it all, on a blog, in “book format” that is readable from begining to end,
    but one can also just copy it and past in Word and print,

    julie

  4. If you do not put a link about my “il y a de la vie après 70 ans” I understand, but perhaps that one “vaut la peine”, celle de ma grand-mère, écrivant des champs de Bergen-Belsen

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