Ceris Hymas, Head of Marketing at Partridge Muir & Warren, continues her series of articles aimed at providing inspiration whilst in isolation. In this article she reviews her virtual experience of Anne Frank’s Secret Annexe.
This experience is simply brilliant and, in my opinion, the best virtual experience so far. Perhaps it is because I have always had an interest in learning about the ingenious ways that people were hidden during the Second World War or maybe it is because when I visited Amsterdam I was unable to visit the museum, due to the fact it requires booking weeks in advance.
This tour is an emotional and eye-opening account of what it was like to be a Jew during the Second World War. It follows eight fugitives hidden in a small secret Annexe on a canal in Amsterdam. It uses excerpts from the famous Anne Frank Diary to give visitors a thought-provoking insight into the world of a teenage girl trying to survive.
The experience is incredibly easy to navigate and gives a full 360-degree view of the Annexe and each individual room. There are videos in each room, along with snippets of information about the rooms use. You can even follow the love story of Anne Frank and Peter Pels along the way.
It feels wrong to suggest I had a favourite part of the tour, when we consider the sadness behind this Annexe. Instead, I will say the most educational and thought-provoking aspects for me were Anne Frank’s diary excerpts. They offer an emotional look at a teenage girl facing the insecurities of becoming a woman and navigating the confusions of love; all the while fearing for her life and that of her family.
If the tour itself makes you want to read more, you can also watch the video diaries, find out more about the people who lived there, explore the timeline and much more. This is an extremely comprehensive experience, but I would advise you to approach with caution. It is also an emotional experience that gives you a very saddening look at the lives of the two families who faced persecution and eventually deportation to the camp of Auschwitz. On that note, I would not suggest undertaking the tour if you have had a bad day!
One thing is certain, this experience has made me more appreciative of the luxuries that have kept us sane during lockdown. Like Anne Frank, we may have been stuck indoors, but the dangers we face are most certainly less sinister.