Day #18: July 16, 2009
In the morning we had to say goodbye to our new friend Jannina. Though we couldn’t spend as much time with her as we wanted to (she had to work), Amy and I both thought she was a sweet and hospitable host would bend over backwards for us. Jannina is a girl who has completely entrusted her life with God and Amy and I just love her heart.
After a long, but enjoyable train ride from Berlin to Amsterdam, we were once again, ready for a good dinner! Amy and I explored Amsterdam a bit and settled at a restaurant for burgers and of course, a Heineken beer! (Heineken is brewed in Amsterdam!)
Afterwards, Amy and I went to a long-awaited site of our trip, Anne Franks’ house. Before Amsterdam, both Amy and I have been reading her diary. It was absolutely indescribable being there, walking through the rooms that once held eight people in hiding for two years. One thing that really surprised me was how dark the rooms were, even during the day. Anne writes in her diary that every bit of the window had to be concealed, in fear of someone seeing them in the house. The journey through the narrow steps and halls took Amy and I back 50 years. Chills went down my back when I heard the ringing of the church bells that echoed through the halls. Anne wrote in her diary about these bells, saying on Saturday, July 11, 1942:
“Daddy, Mummy, and Margot can’t get used to the sound of the Westertoren clock yet, which tells us the time every quarter of an hour. I can. I loved it from the start, and especially in the night it’s like a faithful friend…”
Anne continues about the “Secret Annexe” by writing,
“I can’t tell you how oppressive it is never to be able to go outdoors, also I’m very afraid that we shall be discovered and be shot. That is not exactly a pleasant prospect. We have to whisper and tread lightly during the day, otherwise the people in the warehouse might hear us…”
The house was empty of furniture, but still full of a testimony of a girl who was a victim of coercion and pure evil. May we learn from our mistakes of the past, least we repeat them once again.
“To build up a future, you have to know the past.” -Otto Frank, 1967.
(Anne’s father, the only one who survived out of the eight in hiding).