Anne Frank's pre-war apartment to open to public
An Amsterdam apartment where Jewish teenager Anne Frank and her family lived for nine years before going into hiding due to the Nazi occupation will be opened Saturday, a spokesman for its owner said.
"Around 400 people will be allowed to enter the home," Andre Bakker, a spokesman for the Ymere social housing company which owns the apartment where Frank and her family lived from 1933 to 1942, said on Thursday.
Tickets priced at 7.50 euros ($10) were mainly sold to people living the same neighbourhood of Amsterdam-South, Bakker said.
The Ymere company bought the apartment in 2004, situated in a brick building built in 1931. Restoration started in 2005 from photographs of the Frank family "to try and replicate as close as possible how they lived," Bakker said.
"This is the place where Anne Frank was at her happiest, before World War II," he said, adding that with five bedrooms, a linoleum-covered floor and a terrace, it was "chic for its time."
The walls are adorned with original photographs, which belonged to the Amsterdam-based Anne Frank Foundation. The antique furniture was chosen for its resemblance to furniture found in pictures from Anne Frank's time.
In 1942, Anne Frank and her family were forced to leave and hide from the Nazis in a secret annexe at the back of another family home, along an Amsterdam canal.
It was here that she penned her famous diary until the family were discovered in 1944.
Anne Frank died in 1945 at the age of 15 at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in northern Germany.
"Anne Frank gave a face to the persecution of the Jews during the Second World War and we want to ensure that memory is maintained," said Bakker.
The apartment is currently leased by the Dutch Fund for the Arts, which allowed foreign writers who did not have the right to work freely in their own countries, to live there temporarily.
© 2011 AFP