An international day of remembrance for Holocaust Memorial Day was observed on January 27th. Filmmaker Jonathan Victory released a short film to mark that day’s annual commemoration of the Holocaust. The Other Anne Frank House visits the Frank family home in Merwedeplein, south of Amsterdam’s city centre. On the fateful morning they went into hiding, they walked for around an hour to reach the “Secret Annex” on Prinsengracht. This came to be known as the world-famous “Anne Frank House” for the two years she spent in hiding there.
Filmmaker and south Dublin local Jonathan Victory was filming in Amsterdam for his upcoming documentary Why Do We Forget? This film is still in production, exploring the preservation of historical buildings in Ireland. The Netherlands was visited to provide a contrast to Irish policy. Even in Merwedeplein, there is now a statue to Anne Frank in the square where she played as a child. Jonathan Victory explains the inspiration for his visit:
After the moving experience of visiting the Anne Frank House, I was curious to see the home she was driven from. The statue in Merwedeplein is itself a touching tribute and the buildings have been preserved much as they were when the Franks lived there. I had seen a wedding film that briefly captured Anne Frank looking out at the celebrations from her apartment’s window. This is the only known footage of Anne Frank. On location, I was looking at screenshots of this footage, trying to match the original framing. The effect is quite eery, not just for showing the community still living in this neighbourhood. It hits home how the Frank family were living a normal life in their community until persecution drove them into hiding. Holocaust Memorial Day is worth observing because it highlights how open societies could turn barbaric. This must never happen again. Jonathan Victory