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Anne Frank House with a 6-yr-old?

Anne Frank House with a 6-yr-old?

Old Apr 14, 11, 11:31 am
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Anne Frank House with a 6-yr-old?

Any thoughts or experiences regarding the advisability of taking my 6-year-old son and his 9-year-old sister to visit the Anne Frank House on an upcoming trip to Amsterdam? Is 6 too young to learn about the Holocaust? I suppose we wouldn't have to go into details like gas chambers and such, but we'd have to explain why the people were hiding.
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Old Apr 14, 11, 12:07 pm
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Originally Posted by Helena Handbaskets View Post
Any thoughts or experiences regarding the advisability of taking my 6-year-old son and his 9-year-old sister to visit the Anne Frank House on an upcoming trip to Amsterdam? Is 6 too young to learn about the Holocaust? I suppose we wouldn't have to go into details like gas chambers and such, but we'd have to explain why the people were hiding.
The Anne Frank House gives me nightmares, and I can't even imagine trying to explain some of the truths of her story to a 9 yr old, let alone a 6 yr old. Several places in Amsterdam we've come across photo exhibits on WWII, the holocaust, the Nazi regime, etc. and every one of them was deeply disturbing even to an adult. And it right we should be disturbed by such horrors, but I do not think a 6 or 9 yr old child is ready to process or comprehend such truths.

The Anne Frank House is not just another tourist attraction, it is a memorial to those who died under Hitler's reign of terror.
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Old Apr 14, 11, 12:21 pm
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A definite yes - the house is empty (by the instructions of Otto Frank in honor of Anne - the emptiness represents his families absence/his loss) - so nothing scary about that.

There are a few parts of the exhibit that show the holocaust but it is easy to protect your kids from those sights. They have a very nice bookstore that carries books for very small children about Anne.

Explain the story to you kid beforehand - it will help create a memory. Buy tickets on-line before you visit - lines can be long.

I took my children when the youngest was 5 and they remember it well and in a good way.

The story of Anne is still extremely popular amongst kids of all ages - and so it should be. It is not only a memorial but also a message of hope - and the strength of Anne's spirit.

As a side note - visit the children's wing at the Tropen Museum (tropical museum) - the kids tour is incredible!
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Old Apr 14, 11, 12:28 pm
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Originally Posted by CDTraveler View Post
The Anne Frank House gives me nightmares, and I can't even imagine trying to explain some of the truths of her story to a 9 yr old, let alone a 6 yr old. Several places in Amsterdam we've come across photo exhibits on WWII, the holocaust, the Nazi regime, etc. and every one of them was deeply disturbing even to an adult. And it right we should be disturbed by such horrors, but I do not think a 6 or 9 yr old child is ready to process or comprehend such truths.

The Anne Frank House is not just another tourist attraction, it is a memorial to those who died under Hitler's reign of terror.
Well said.

I would add that the actual attic itself, where the Frank family hid, is quite small -- I can't imagine bringing young children without them distracting other visitors from an appreciation of what happened there.
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Old Apr 14, 11, 1:21 pm
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I agree with CDTraveler. There are so many other great places in Amsterdam to visit with children that I would wait to take them here until they were older and able to understand some of the difficult issues involved with the holocaust and World War II. Plus the Anne Frank House is usually extremely crowded, with lots of steep stairways.
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Old Apr 14, 11, 1:28 pm
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Originally Posted by lost*in*cyberspace View Post
I agree with CDTraveler. There are so many other great places in Amsterdam to visit with children that I would wait to take them here until they were older and able to understand some of the difficult issues involved with the holocaust and World War II. Plus the Anne Frank House is usually extremely crowded, with lots of steep stairways.
As far as Holocaust memorials, for educational purposes, I think the Anne Frank House can be a good starting point, compared to other memorials. I believe our children today are exposed to much worse without our parental supervision. Knowledge is power.
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Old Apr 14, 11, 1:33 pm
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Knowledge is power.
Sure, but for a six year old, this knowledge can be too scary and overwhelming.

I'd wait until the kids were older.
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Old Apr 14, 11, 1:35 pm
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The website indicates 10 and up (it has a kids page) but we had no problem visiting with 5 and up (we are quite careful but don't shield our children as much as other parents). It's up to you.

If you expect to come back to Amsterdam in the future you could skip it - if not I'd go. A visit with small kids would last no more than 60 minutes.

Side note - if you do decide to go: buy tickets on-line before you visit - lines are very long.

Last edited by erik123; May 9, 11 at 7:49 am
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Old May 8, 11, 4:34 pm
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We took our twins aged 6 to Bergen Belsen and they saw Anne Frank's memorial there. We made sure they didn't see the graphic museum displays, but we did explain what happened to her and to millions of others. It is possible to inform children without terrifying them. But only each parent can assess what they feel comfortable with, and what they think their children can and should know about.
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