The next journey begins CHINA!!

The next journey begins CHINA!!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Amsterdand today Aug 4

Today was another very busy and emotional day, once again ending with a fun adventure.  We began with a scenic canal our of Amsterdam, slowly going under bridges and viewing the house boats, and various other beautiful areas.
We stopped at the Anne Frank House , which I had never been to. The house overlooks a canal and is beautiful.  One cannot see this and not think of Anne Frank describing how she would go to the attic and look out the window.  We also heard the church bells ring, bells Anne described in her diary. The house is very narrow and we were able to see the office of Otto Frank, a place not open to tourists
. We walked up to the narrow stairway and the original book case that camouflaged the hiding place still stands. We went into Anne's room that she shared with the dentist. and preserved ( under pl;exi glass) in her room are all the clippings, drawings, pages of magazines pasted on the wall . Her actual diary is on display and our guide, being Dutch, read it to me as I stood with her.  Today we realized that it was Aug 4th the same day the Frank family were denounced and arrested. An interview plays with Otto Frank who talks about his daughter and how no parent really knows their child- after reading her diary he felt like he did not really know her.  Anne and her sister died of typhus in Bergen Belsen just 2 weeks before liberation.

After this we visited the Portuguese synagogue. it dates from 1600's and is still used today. We then went to the Jewish Memorial museum which stands on the place where the Jews from Amsterdam were deported from: The Frank family and Maude Dahme's grandparents as well.  Maude saw her grandparents name listed amongst all the other 24,000 people - 20,000 which perished.
We continued to a Jewish Museum of History containing many religious and cultural artifacts.
The day ended with dinner and an impromptu adventure through the Red Light District, China Town, all the colorful areas that make Amsterdam such an 'intriguing" place. Tomorrow is our last day we will be visiting Vught a concentration camp where David Koker wrote and dies. I read his diary and mention him here because he too was deported from the place I stood on today.  It still awes me every day when I go to these places how humans can be so inhuman. How does this happen? Is it within us all? I wish I had answers but these trips only make me ask more.
I added a photo from Bergen Belsen from 2010- where Anne and Margot Frank died of thypus two weeks before liberation

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