Monday, March 21, 2011

By now, nearly everyone must know of Anne Frank and her diary. It is taught extensively in schools, students must often watch the various films made about the Frank Family in the Secret Annex, and her diary is required reading.

Visitors to Amsterdam by the thousands visit the Anne Frank Museum daily to see how Anne and her family and lived, along with their cohorts the the van Pels family and Fritz Pfeffer.

Clearly, not everyone in the United States, or anywhere else in the world, for that matter, can just hop over to Amsterdam to visit the museum- thus an interactive website that allows us, from far away, to tour the Secred Annex and see just how they all lived while they were in hiding, and just what Anne was writing about in her diary.

The website gives us a great view into how everyone lived and got along (or didn't) in such a small space. For instance- Anne shared her room with the middle-aged dentist, Fritz Pfeffer. Not exactly the dream of every teenage girl, to be sharing space with a middle-aged man.

Another link on the site brings us to "who's who" of the attic- and we learn everyone's relationship to Anne (her romance with Peter, her annoyance with his mother...).

Yet another link brings us to the outcome of the residents of the Secret Annex. We learn that of the residents of the attic, only Otto survives. Also, we learn about the helpers and we learn about Otto Frank's life and the decision to publish Anne's diary after her death in the Bergen Belsen concentration camp.

I highly recommend this site to students, as well as people who have a personal interest in World War II and what it was like to go into hiding. I think it is good for ages 12 up- because we know that nearly everyone who lived in the attic died.

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