Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Day 52

Day 52 Amsterdam - Thursday 19th August

I have read The Dairy Of Anne Frank a couple of times and remember finding it a moving true account of a young Jewish girl who survived two years of her childhood hiding from the Nazis with her family in a secret part of their house. Tragically they were found and put in a concentration camp where she finally died just one month before the end of the war.
Today the unfurnished house is a solemn museum in the heart of Amsterdam.

To stand inside these 'blacked out' rooms, you can almost hear the echoes of hushed voices of so many years ago. The sadness that oozes from these bare rooms is overwhelming. The displays of quotes from Anne's diary, the film clips of her father speaking of his huge sense of loss after losing his entire family and, of course, the original diary entries themselves are powerful reminders of the pain inflicted on the Jews - and this needs to be amplified millions of times for all of attrocities inflicted the rest of the Jewish population!

I will always remember the father speaking of his surprise when he read the diaries after the war. He had no idea she was so afraid and was amazed at her 'deep thoughts'. The Anne he knew in the house was a very different person from the Anne whose diaries he was reading.
This visit was well worth the long queues!

(Right) Behind this book case is the door to the secret part of the house in which the family and others lived for two years.

Part of the queue to Anne Frank's house.

The Rijksmuseum highlights included:
*paintings by Rembrandt and Monet
*Vermeer's Milkmaid
*antique Delftware

Of course, we couldn't miss the Van Gogh Museum which traced his life through his development as an artist. Nearly all his famous works were on display, including his self portaits, the Sunflower and The Potato Eaters. So many famous paintings......

It was fantastic to meet up with Erik for dinner. We dined in style alongside one of the canals and had many laughs and reminiscences from his stay with us a couple of years ago. Thanks for the dinner Erik!

Of course no visit to Amsterdam would be complete without venturing into it's most famous tourist attraction - the red light district. Can't go into much detail here but we did go into a rather fascinating museum!

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