Reviews 2017



June- The Diary of a Young Girl-Anne Frank-Tales from the Secret Annex-Anne Frank

My husband and I went to Europe almost exactly a year ago. There just aren’t enough words to describe the beautiful places and things we saw.  Pictures don’t do justice.  I got to see all my exchange kids, except for two of them and I can’t describe the awesome time we had with their families.  Happy anniversary Anna and Toby of Emsdetten!   We visited so many cities and experienced so much that two weeks seemed like a few days. 

I wanted to share one place we visited in particular because that place changed my life.  A few weeks before we left America, Floortje, one of our kids from two years ago, texted me.  “Would you like to visit the Anne Frank House while you’re in Amsterdam?” 
I guess I hadn’t thought about Amsterdam more than getting there. “Yes.  How much?”  I am on a budget so of course I had to think about that first.
Floor said, “Not that much.  If we can get tickets it would be better otherwise we’ll be waiting all day to get in.”  After a few minutes, she texted again, “Four tickets left for Saturday afternoon at 2 pm…otherwise, no tickets till August.”
Another of our kids, Sophie, also Floor’s exchange sister, was coming in from Berlin that day. “Get them and I’ll pay you when I get there.”

Like every other American High School Kid my age, I read Diary of Anne Frank.  I understood the ordeal and how horrible it must have been for that teenager so far away but I didn’t get it.  Whether it was because I was a kid or because I was so far removed from that situation, I’m not sure but, once I visited Anne Frank House, I understood the totality of what happened and I’ll never be complacent again. Putting the words together with the articles from the people involved who lived, and died, during that specific event and walking the actual house changed how I thought about, well about everything.  

I expected the tour to be just as most house tours that go on around me.  In Nebraska City, I have visited Arbor Lodge and everything is nice. The Docents are well informed.  In Abilene, Kansas, President Eisenhower’s home is worth the visit.  Everything is restored and roped and visitors can look and see the lives that people lived.  That’s what I expected at Anne Frank House.  That’s not what I got. 

There are no ropes to keep you from going into rooms.  The building is pretty much the way it was at the time.  In Anne Frank’s tiny room, the curators left some of her notes pinned to the wall just as she left them (those walls were protected by Plexiglas.)  I could almost the era as I climbed the stairs, touched the surroundings and peered out the windows, covered just as they were during that time, and wondered how on earth these people survived.  I was, and still am, so sad so many of the residents didn’t survive.  What a disgusting shame.  The only place we weren’t’ allowed was the attic.  I couldn’t help it.  I climbed the makeshift ladder and peeked inside to see.  I had to.  I knew I couldn’t visit and miss that one historic space.  It was the only spot roped off but once at the top, and looking in, I almost felt the cold of winter and the heat of the summer all at once and a sadness came over me that makes me wonder why something like that happened.  I am glad I didn’t forgo that spot because of what I experienced just in that one second.  

At the end of the tour was a movie.  Usually those museum movies are informative.  This one was different.  No one spoke.  No one left midway through.  I cried as I’m sure lots of people did. 
On the way out, I purchased two books, careful not to break the spines or bend the pages as I read.  I kept the receipt and the bag and the museum literature so that when I die, my children will have that one thing that made such an impression on me.  

I visited lots of places during my days in Europe but those following that tour were with a different understanding.  In those few short hours of a visit to a museum where a girl spent the last years of her life, the way I thought about the world changed.  I left knowing, and fearing, that history repeats itself and how horrible it would be if that ever happened again.  It can’t happen again. As humans, we can never allow it again.
 
I truly think that anyone with any hate in their heart should be forced to visit Anne Frank House in Amsterdam.  If they leave with the same view as when they arrived, there is no hope for them. 
   


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January- Here's something new.  

I watched a movie.  The Accountant.  Its a great story.  Just twisted enough.  Acting was good--some quality actors who've been doing this a long time and some new guys-who also did a convincing job.  There was just one place I thought would have made it better.  Mostly it had to do with where the girl was once she 
was left at the hotel.  Maybe that got cut?  
There are people who dissect movies a lot more than I but I watch movies to see a good story or to see how far it deviates from the written.  I tend to miss or overlook the parts that realistically don't add up and stick to the storyline--which was pretty darn good here.  I watched it twice
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