Friday, September 3, 2010

An emotional reminder

When we planned this trip, I knew that our visit to the Anne Frank Museum would be difficult for me.  I read The Diary of Anne Frank at about Anne's age when she was hiding with her family in the secret annex.  Decades later, my mind still cannot understand how human beings can commit such horrors as occurred in Europe during the Second World War.

The museum is very well done.  There is little conversation as visitors move from room to room reading Anne's story.  The rooms are small; it is hard to imagine eight people living within these walls -- breathing, sleeping, eating, bathing, cooking, reading, writing -- maintaining their lives for so many months.  The furniture is gone, but the words tell the story well enough that pictures form in your mind.

I could not stop the tears when I walked into Anne's room.  Her father, the only family member who survived the Nazi concentration camps, returned to the house after the war and removed the wallpaper from Anne's room to ensure its safety.  When the house was preserved and turned into a museum, the wallpaper was returned to Anne's room.  Typically for a teenager, Anne glued pictures to the walls in her room - movie stars, flowers, other images that appealed to her.  I could not stay long in that room.

I will read Anne's book again when we return from this trip.  Her story is not to be forgotten.

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