The former hiding place, where Anne Frank wrote her diary, is now a well-known museum. The museum tells the history of the eight people in hiding and those who helped them during the war. Anne Frank's diary is among the original objects on display.
More than six months after the German invasion, Otto Frank moves the Opekta and Pectacon office and storerooms from the building at #400 Singel to #263 Prinsengracht.
The ground floor storeroom consists of three parts. Right at the front is the dispatch of the goods. In the middle part are the machines for grinding and mixing spices. In the back, the spices are packaged. In two mixing drums, jellying agents for the preparation of jam are made. The Opekta product is only sold during and after the summer, when there is a lot of fruit, with which to make jam. Pectacon is a herb mix for the preparation of sausage.
The hiding place
Monday morning, the Frank family goes into hiding in the Secret Annex of the office building. Previously, one of the upper floors was used as a laboratory for a short while. During the first months before going into hiding, the hiding place was prepared as inconspicuously as possible. The attic space and the two floors were cleared and made habitable.
In the block of houses that is located on the garden side behind the Prinsengracht during the war, the Secret Annex of #263 is one in a long row. There are small and large buildings, where some houses lie deeper than others. The neighbors to the side and back are given the impression that the house in not in use. One week later, on July 13, the Van Pels family go into hiding at the Secret Annex. Fritz Pfeffer follows on November 16. The hiding period ends on August 4 1944, when the people in hiding have been betrayed and are arrested.
The building after the war
Otto Frank returns to Amsterdam as sole survivor and moves in with Jan and Miep Gies for several years. The Opekta company is still active and the helpers still work there, with Johannes Kleiman as director.
Otto finally withdraws from the company in 1953 and devotes more and more of his time to his daughter Anne's diary. Together with Kleiman he devotes himself to the preservation of the building. The adjacent buildings, however, are nominated for demolition. This forms a direct threat to #263. Furthermore, the building is in bad condition. Opekta can no longer afford to keep building and moves. Under pressure from public opinion and thanks to a collection initiated by the mayor of Amsterdam Van Hall, the building is saved.
The house as museum
At the opening, Otto Frank writes: 'During the restoration of the house, it was the intention to modernize the front part of the building, to be able to use it as an international youth center, but to leave the Secret Annex in its original condition as much as possible.'
Kleiman is involved in the Anne Frank House as member of the Board. Until his death in 1959, he is also director of Opekta. Miep Gies and Bep Voskuijl already quit working in 1947 to take care of their families. Victor Kugler emigrated to Canada in 1955. The place where they all leave an important history, attracts a lot of attention from 1960. In the first year, no less than 9,000 people visit the museum. Ten years later we count 180,000 visitors. The House closes several months in 1970 for necessary construction works. So many visitors cause problems for the fabric of the building.
For current visiting hours, please visit the website of the museum.
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