Lonely Planet Writer

The renewed Anne Frank House wants to bring history to a new generation

The Anne Frank House is one of Amsterdam’s most famous attractions and now, after two years of renewal work, it is welcoming “a new generation of visitors”.

The exterior of the Anne Frank House. Image by © Anne Frank House / Photographer: Cris Toala Olivares

The museum is inside the home where Anne Frank and her family hid in a space known as the Secret Annex during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands in World War II. A small building, the museum is now so popular that visitors are required to book a timeslot and purchase their tickets in advance online.

The number of visitors has grown rapidly in recent years and the museum now receives more than 1.2 million each year. To meet that demand, the museum expanded and renewed the public facilities. Now, the Secret Annex remains, but everything around it has been updated to create a better experience and help visitors learn more.

De Boekenkast, or the bookcase. Image by © Anne Frank House / Photographer: Cris Toala Olivares

The story of the Frank family is known around the world, following the posthumous publication of Anne’s diary. Decades later, interest in her life remains high. However, the museum notes that many visitors are young adults – meaning some may be less familiar with the history.

Ronald Leopold, executive director of the Anne Frank House, said in a statement: “Many of our visitors are aged under 25, and come from countries outside of Europe. So it’s important to go deeper into the historical context and the background to the life story of Anne Frank in the museum. We’ll be giving more information on what happened during the Second World War and the Holocaust, how it could happen, and what this means for us today.”

Inside the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. Image by © Anne Frank House / Photographer: Cris Toala Olivares

Inside guests will find Anne’s bedroom and her actual diary. The museum centres on the Secret Annex, the space where the Franks and others hid, spending the days in total silence. The museum will tell the story using quotations from her diary as well as providing more information on the Second World War and the Holocaust. The new space will ensure there’s more room for educational groups, as well as providing a new group entrance to help address the large crowds that head to the museum.