My 9 year old recently read The Diary of Anne Frank and it sparked an interest for him into World War 2 and particularly the Holocaust. He decided he’d like to visit the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam so we booked a trip over with some friends.
Update 2022 – My first tip is to book the visit to Anne Frank House before you book anything else – the tickets get booked up well in advance and you can no longer book tickets at the house you have to book them online in advance.
The house itself is easy to find, it’s not a long walk from the Central Station.
There are lots of visitors allowed at a time (although much less post Covid), but there is a specific route to follow which means that you don’t miss out on seeing anything – it’s very well organised. We found one of the groups of teenagers to be quite disrespectful through some of the rooms; laughing and shouting but there were no staff with them to calm things down.
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It is difficult to describe the feelings you have when walking through the house – it’s informative, heartbreaking, emotional and an amazing learning experience for the children. All of us were quite taken aback at how small the annexe was and by what the conditions must’ve been like. I would definitely recommend taking children to visit – only by learning the lessons of the past can we make sure we do not allow atrocities like that in the future.
The children have each written a little about their visit:
Sam: I thought it was really interesting. When you go in you get an audio guide that you listen to a bit like a phone. That was really good because it explained everything that was there. Also you go through the house following a trail all the way through while it explains it so you know you have seen everything.
James: I thought it was good. It gave you a real feel for what it was like for them to live there. The audio guides were very informative. It was very poignant to hear the excerpts where Anne talked about her future career when you knew she wouldn’t live long enough to for it to become a reality.
Lucy: It was good. Some parts were sad like the images of piles of bodies in the concentration camps. Also when Anne talked about her dreams for after the war. It wasn’t how I had imagined, it was much smaller. It made the diary feel very real.
Harry: Anne Frank’s House was very sad but very interesting. One of the very good bits was that you could see what other people had to say and not just Anne’s point of view. For example you could see Otto and Edith Frank’s view of living in the annexe. The annexe was very small and dark. They were above a warehouse so had to be very quiet when people were working. I would recommend visiting this museum to anyone who is studying World War 2.
Joe: Anne Frank lived through the war. She wrote some books and a diary. Her home was very small. We saw lots of pictures.
In conclusion, we would definitely recommend a trip to the Anne Frank House. It wasn’t unsuitable for any of the children, but those 8+ in our group definitely got the most out of our visit.
*We were offered free tickets to the Anne Frank House in return for an honest review on the Minitravellers website*
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