House Signs Fun Facts: The Anne Frank House

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One famous house that is visited by at least 1 million visitors every year is the Anne Frank House in Prinsengracht 263 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Visitor records show that since opening the house to the public in 1960, the home turned museum has brought 32,351,900 visitors.

Anne Frank, a Jewish girl, lived in a secret annex in the building with her family of four and 4 other Jews, who went to hiding to escape Nazi prosecution in the Netherlands. She kept a diary in which she chronicled living in the annex for two years until they were betrayed and arrested by Nazi authorities and deported to concentration camps where they died.

Anne Frank’s father, Otto Frank, was the only survivor of his family and upon his return to Amsterdam, an employee, Miep Gies, who managed to salvage Anne’s Diary after the Nazi authorities ransacked the Secret Annex and subsequently gave the diary to Otto. In 1947, Otto Frank published Anne’s memoir in Dutch under the title, “Het Achterhuis” which means

“backhouse.” Its English translation was changed to “The Secret Annex” and future publications re-titled it “Anne Frank: Diary of A Young Girl.”

The building in which Anne Frank and her family stayed in was kept preserved and opened as a museum in May 3, 1960. A small house sign bears the words “Anne Frank Huis” to let visitors and passersby that they found the right place. The plaque of the white house signs, set against a black post by the doors, is so simple and small that one may actually miss it. The house sign is so discreet and inconspicuous, just like the secret annex that Anne Frank lived in.

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