When a good friend of mine said she would be visiting Amsterdam last week and in particular The Anne Frank museum I asked, nay I pleaded with her to get me a guidebook or leaflet from there as The Diary of A Young Girl written by Anne Frank is such a special book and i knew i’d probably never get the chance to visit myself.
This is what she came back with for me:
A gorgeous, pocket sized hardback guidebook full of information, photos, diagrams and history, a booklet with maps to help you get the most from the visit and a bookmark. And all in a paper bag with the Anne Frank huis logo on. (Yes, i can hear your amazement at my love for a paper bag)
This is a cut-a-way diagram of the house and business which is in a fold-out at the front of the book. The detail is amazing. Its like a dolls house and i really love the little ladders they had to use. It must have been so hard to be quiet with them creaking all the time.
The image of the bookcase which hid the door to the hiding place has to be the most iconic image in my mind. My friend said it was really surreal to be climbing the stairs behind it and also that nobody spoke, at all! the whole way round the tour! isnt that something.
Reading about all this made me decide to buy a copy of The Diary. I used to have one years back but sadly it got lost somehow. So i rushed online and got me another copy
I hadnt realised that there is not just one edition of the Diary but many as Anne decided to ‘edit’ her original diary for future publication as asked for by the Dutch Government when the war was over. She wanted it to look more professional i guess. So there are many different editions around and this is a mixed version. I think the original ones are hard to find these days.
“Not being able to go outside upsets me more than i can say, and i’m terrified our hiding place will be discovered and that we’ll be shot. That, of course, is a fairly dismal prospect.“
This rather prophetic paragraph was added as a comment on 28th September 1942 by Anne onto an existing entry dated Saturday 11th July 1942. Just over 72 years ago to the day. Its such a fascinating document of the 20th century as well as a brilliant read.