People who work at the Anne Frank House talk about their experiences. Here, Ita Amahorseija tells the stories behind the photographs of Anne Frank's Amsterdam.

The stories behind the photographs

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Anne Frank and her friends in Amsterdam. This photograph takes you back to a carefree time that happened on this spot. The neighborhood around the Merwedeplein was new then. Did the girls playing talk about new clothes or what they would be when they grew up? Did they feel free and safe after leaving Germany to escape Hitler’s Nazis?

Anne Frank’s Amsterdam

View the city’s timeline before, during and after the war.

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Exhibitions and activities worldwide

The Anne Frank House is active in more than fifty countries with exhibitions and educational projects.

Exhibitions and activities worldwide

Today other children play on this spot and time has changed the area. Does it make sense to blend the past and the present together with a photo of the past and one of today? ‘I look at the city in a different way now when I cycle through it.’ says Joost. ‘Provocative’ and ‘impressive’ say others

The story of the secret annex and Anne’s diary is well known all over the world, but what of the city in which she grew up? How was Amsterdam and its citizens affected by the war? Find out with Anne Frank’s Amsterdam.

The past inextricably linked to the present

Anne Frank’s Amsterdam uses extraordinary images to reveal the city in which the Frank family lived. Inspired by Sergey Larenkov who ‘blended’ photographs of German soldiers in Berlin during the war into photos taken on the same spot in the Berlin of today, visual designer Michel Danckaarts (LBi) set out to do the same in Amsterdam.

Armed with a camera and black and white photos of historical events in Amsterdam he searched for the same locations. Some had changed completely others had remained remarkably the same. He could see whether the original photo was taken in the morning or in the afternoon so care and attention was paid to ensuring the light was the same. As well as the accuracy of the photograph itself, the photo shopping of both images to create the ‘blended image‘ was very detailed work - which details on each image should be emphasized and which should be omitted. The black and white images of the past were inextricably linked to the color images of the present. The results make the past come alive.

Nine very special photographs

With these nine very special photographs you can stand on the same spot where history was made; where Dutch Nazis welcomed German troops to the city or where SS leader Himmler spoke to Amsterdam’s new police battalion on the Museumplein or where Anne posed for her father’s camera. This link between the past and the present heightens the experience and shows the city in a different way. It forms a backdrop for historical events which come to life.

The nine remarkable blended photographs make up only part of the wealth of images and footage from private collections and national and international archives creating a timeline which is rich in content. The locations, events and personal stories give an excellent picture of Amsterdam during the war.  

View the nine photographs on the homepage of Anne Frank's Amsterdam

Suggested links


As Program Manager Ita Amahorseija is responsible for concept, strategy and creation of the digital projects of the Anne Frank House

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