Monday, September 14, 2009

Amsterdam - once upon a time there was a little girl

September 7th was Amsterdam! I only had a few hours here en route to Athens and I set out specifically for the Anne Frank Museum. There’s a meme going around where you name the top 15 most influential/memorable books in your life, and were I do actually do it, The Diary of Anne Frank would be at the top for me. I really love published journals and diaries, but hers was the first I read – I think we did it in grade five at school. I remember reading the first bit, and then flipping to the back to read about what Anne was up to today. The fact that out of her whole family, out of all the people who hid in the Secret Annex, only her father really affected me as a naive little ten year old. I was still at a stage of life where everyone grew up and lived happily ever after, and if anyone died, it was the old people, your grandparents or even your parents, because they were old and had had full lives. Little girls a few years older than me didn’t die, didn’t go to die in death camps mere weeks before being saved.

Needless to say, the museum was fascinating and heartrending for me. The last film clip you see before you leave is Otto Frank saying how little he knew of Anne, how different she seemed from the girl he read of in her journals. And there we stood, just tourists, and the only thing we know of Anne were her journals and teenage scrawling and innermost thoughts, the best they can be expressed with pen and paper.

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