Tuesday, October 9, 2018

The Poetry of Silence: The Anne Frank House in Amsterdam

At the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, the first thing you notice is the crowds. This is one of the most visited sites in the city, and people begin to line up early to enter the museum. The weather seems not to matter. I was there on a rainy, overcast day in May, and the rain had not discouraged the crowds, standing in line under a sea of umbrellas.

The second thing you notice is the silence. As crowded as the museum becomes, silence seems to reign here. After walking through the museum exhibits and the rooms where the Frank and van Pels families hid from 1942 to 1944, I can’t recall a single conversation, a single voice, a single word being uttered. It was a profound silence, a poem composed of no words.

The house containing the “secret annex” (the original title of The Diary of Anne Frank when it was published in 1947) is actually the smallest building in the museum complex at Prinsengracht 263-267. It’s very close to one of Amsterdam’s famous churches, the Westerkerk, at Prinsengracht 279. And it was a very short walk from my hotel, the Pulitzer, at Prinsengracht 323.

To continue reading, please see my post today at Tweetspeak Poetry.

Top photograph: The bookcase entrance to the secret annex in the Anne Frank HouseVia Wikimedia.

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