My greatest wish is to be a journalist, and later on, a famous writer. We’ll have to wait and see if these grand illusions (or delusions!) will ever come true, but up to now I’ve had no lack of topics. In any case, after the war I’d like to publish a book called The Secret Annex. It remains to be seen whether I’ll succeed, but my diary can serve as the basis.
May 11, 1944
While browsing my latest new favorite iPad app, Zite, I ran across an article highlighting The Secret Annex Online. Created by the Anne Frank House Foundation, The Secret Annex is perhaps the coolest, most useful site I have ever visited.
The site uses technology similar to first person video games – allowing you to walk around and through the Secret Annex as if you are Anne herself in 1942. During your exploring, you can hear descriptions of each area and pan around in 360 degrees.
You can also let Anne take you on a tour, using period photographs and her own words from her diary. This piece is especially powerful because you get a sense of who Anne was and what she thought.
There are maps, building outlines, biographies of all those hiding in the Annex as well as those doing the hiding and information about what the site calls The Outcome – what happened in August 1944 when the Annex was discovered by the German Gestapo.
It really is an extraordinary place – both for the history and events described and also for how they’re described. Even if you don’t teach World War II or the Holocaust, it’s worth a visit just for your own professional growth.