I AM GLAD I WENT

Ah, guys. Today`s been a good day. The reason is pretty much because of an event I went to today, which was in the Holocaust Center  (it`s called that, but it`s a center for studies of Holocaust and Religious minorities) in Oslo. It started 2 o clock in the afternoon, and I wasn`t sure whether to go or not because I usually have a lecture from 12-2 and afterwards a seminar. I changed the seminar and decided to only attend half of the lecture, so I could go to the event. And let`s just say I don`t regret doing that. The author Lena Lindahl just got a book published, and it`s about a girl and how she survived Holocaust during the second world war. I haven`t read it yet (it came out today), but according to what I heard today at the event, it`s about a girl who survived the war by hiding in a wall in a cottage in the Norwegian city Trondheim. Her Christian boyfriend helped her, and she hid in the cottage for more than two years. In that way it`s got a connection to Anne Frank, and honestly; I saw that there was going to be another event about the book somewhere else, and the title said “The girl in the wall – a little known Anne Frank-story from Trondheim”. My head instantly said: “I have to go”.

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It was an awesome event, very informative and very interesting. It`s these kind of stories from the war that interest me. Stories about humanity and love. Imagine having to hide for so long, barely going out and being scared. She didn`t know where her family was, but pretty much all of her family was deported and killed in the camps. Every time someone came over, Betzy Rosenborg (the girl) had to hid in the wall. Sometimes for hours.

Even though I`ve read quite a lot about the war, it still “fascinates” me how the Nazis were able to not only think this way, but also go to the extent they did in order to rid of millions of people. It also fascinates me what extent people would go to, just to survive. And imagine – this all happened less than 75 years ago.

On my way home I talked to this old lady who also had been there. Very nice to talk to her and talk about our lives. We both believe there should be more history books out there that are written for young people. Most of the history books that I`ve read are academic and therefore not that interesting for people who are 15-25 years old. “The girl in the wall” is a book written for the youth – you learn about history, but it`s more “dramatised”. Anyways, I also mentioned I`m going to Maastricht for next semester and she told me a little about her life. All in all, a good day. Excited to read the book, by the way. Unfortunately it`s only on Norwegian, but let me know if you want me to write about it after I`ve finished it! 😃

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VISITING THE ANNE FRANK HOUSE – A DREAM COME TRUE

Five months later and I`ve finally got around to write a post about my visit to the Anne Frank Museum. It was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G and surreal to finally be there, after so many years. I read her diary several years ago, so finally being there was sort of like “when did this happened?” After countless discussions, tears and much frustration, my mum finally had bought tickets for the trip.IMG_1087We were only there for about two days (the plan was to stay there from Friday night till Sunday afternoon, but if you`ve read my posts about my time in Amsterdam, you`ll know we somehow didn`t get on the flight and therefore had to stay one more night, haha), so we didn`t have that much time but I was more than happy to finally visit the Anne Frank House. I had even asked my mum if it was okay for me to catch a flight in the morning, visit the Museum and catch a flight back to Norway the same day, haha. Desperate, I know! BUT I finally went this summer and I still can`t get over it.

IMG_1092.jpgAnne Frank Huis is located at Prinsengracht 263, close to the Westerkerk in central Amsterdam. Take the tram (nr. 14, if I`m not wrong) from the central station and get off at “Westermarkt.” The Museum it very close to the station, it should take you about two minutes to get there.

IMG_1096 (1)IMG_1014.jpgWe didn`t get any tickets online, but I was very ready about standing outside and waiting for at least 3-4 hours. Well, guess what? We arrived the Museum about two o clock and didn`t have to wait for long. We were kind of confused, though, about where the queue started. We joined it where it began, but people immediately reacted and pointed towards the end of the line. It was quite long and I first thought “oh my, how long is this going to take”, but we joined the queue as quickly as possible and waited for the time to pass by. My mum walked around the place and bought a donut for me, which I enjoyed while waiting. In front of me there was this American woman, who was on a business trip but had some time to explore the city. We talked for a while and time passed by very quickly. She was such a nice lady, I wish we had met each other after the exhibition. I “missed her” after going inside the Museum, but I really hope she enjoyed her visit! We had to wait for like two hours, which wasn`t really anything. You could say we waited for about 45 minutes, as the queue for us who didn`t have any online tickets began then. I feel like a quick search online make you believe it`s going to take a long time, but don`t worry! If you`re there 1-2 PM, you should be fine! Also, the Museum has organised it quite well, so they take in visitors as some leave. IMG_0994IMG_0998 (1)IMG_1172IMG_1006IMG_1090.jpgEach ticket costed 9 Euros. We payed for them and walked into the building. The exhibition consisted of photos with information, things inside displays from that time, headphones which told you about each room and walking around the Secret Annexe. Unfortunately the attic was closed, which made me sad but I tried to see as much as possible from the floor below.  We weren`t allowed to take pictures inside, but maybe that was only a rule for those using flash? It would be nice to have a picture from the inside which I`ve taken, but I`m very glad I actually enjoyed my time there and wasn`t busy taking pictures. IMG_1175I knew almost everything, so for me the excitement was pretty much all about being inside there. It was stepping where Anne stepped so many years ago. It was being there, feeling and realizing how little space and privacy there was inside each room. It was seeing everything physically, it was about being able to look at the pictures Anne had put on her wall and touching the walls. The pictures inside my head were finally real. It was seeing everything Anne had described in her diary. The kitchen, the livingroom, the bedrooms, the bathroom. Being a little closer to everything that happened. They`re forever gone, but we`re here. We`re here to remind ourselves so we can remember. We`re here to learn about what happened, so we hopefully can not let it happen again and prevent hate and racism from being normal things in  our lives and in our society. So we can work against destructive ideas and notions. I`ve heard some people say “Anne Frank got famous for only writing a diary”. You can look at it that way, or you can actually read the diary and learn a lot about how a young girl was trying to survive, not only physically but also mentally, when the world around her was fighting. It`s about the war, about rascism, about what hate can do, about war, hope, dreams, the future and love. Let`s not forget what an incredible writer Anne Frank was. I`ve also heard people say “Malala got famous because Taliban tried to kill her”. I won`t say Malala didn`t get more opportunities to raise awareness for human rights, but Malala believed in education for everyone before the event Can`t we all focus on the good things people do, instead of ignoring them and being ignorant?IMG_1182IMG_1093IMG_1174IMG_1104After spending two hours inside, I bought two books, an English version of the diary and a huge book about Anne, her life, the diary and the Museum. I also bought three postcards. I`m very happy I got to visit the Museum after so many years. It inspired me a lot and made me realise what`s important in life. In the end of exhibition they were showing a short video, in which people were explaining what impact Anne and her story have had on their lives and how you can make the world a better place to live in. We can all do little things every single day, to make someone`s live a little better and to make it easier for more people to live in this crazy world. I`m one of millions who`re inspired by Anne Frank and everything she went through and I know I`ll forever be inspired. Thank you for everything you`ve taught me, thank you for inspiring so many people with your writing. You couldn`t know, but your dreams came true and people today are thinking of you. I`m one of them. I really enjoyed my visit and I`m for sure going back one day.IMG_1089

Till then:


Have you been to the Anne Frank House? If so, pleeeease share your encounterings. I`d love to hear about everything! 🙂 Also, have you read her diary? What do you think of it? If you haven`t, I really really really recommend you to read it. ♥

9TH APRIL 1940

This post was supposed to be posted yesterday, but time passed away quickly and 9th became 10th. 

9th april 1940.

It`s 77 years ago since Norway was attacked by the Germans. It was day which, for many Norwegians, consisted of fears, sorrows, pessimism and insecurity. Many had no idea what was coming their way. It took four years for our country to be free and independent.

Today I`m happy about being able to live in a country where I can be me, where I can be free. I`m glad I live in a time and country, where I don`t have to worry about bombs and shooting, but instead can sleep peacefully at night. I`m glad I`m living this life. I`m glad I live in a country where I have rights. I`m happy I can study and become something and perhaps most of all – I`m glad I`m able to see a future. At that time, there was a war going on in my country. Today, I can be sorry about what happened, but I can also be relieved because it belongs to the past.

I`m thankful for this life. Today I`m thinking of all these people whom lost their lives and lost people who were close to their hearts. I`m sorry that some human beings find it appropriate and necessary to kill so many. Especially the Jews barely had any rights and my heart cries every time I hear stories from the camps.

I`m sorry to say that all we can do now is to never forget and remember what happened, but I hope that`s enough.

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THE BEST TRIP EVER

 

All of the photos in this post are from Sachsenhausen

DSC_0751Today JK & Co are in Poland. Four days ago, the 13th of April marked 4 years ago since I was there myself. Four years. Time sure flies by.

Every second year the ninth and tenth grade at Østmarka has this trip where they visit Poland, Czech Republic and Germany. I don`t know whether their schedule is the same, but we visited four conzentration camps, three capitals, one city which the Nazis destroyed and some other tourist attractions.

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But do you know what left me shocked? Do you know what left marks on me? The camps, the city where Nazis had killed so many innocent children. The meeting with Magnhild, whom survived the war and told us our experiences. I don`t know how many times I`m going to say this, but I ended up falling almost asleep while she was talking. How disrespectful, I know, but blame my sleeping routines which were upside down because of the trip, hehe.. Thanks to Charlotte whom woke me up and told me not to sleep. Other people fell asleep too and we had to wake them up, which was a lot more fun than being woken up, haha. Anyways, now I`m getting a little too chatty. The point is – I`m so thankful for meeting Magnhild and I`m so glad that she spent her life after the war telling people what had happen to her. We needed it.

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Thank God we were asked to write a diary during the trip (not that I wouldn`t anyways) and Thank God I`ve kept it with me for these 4 years. I read it now and then and the memories come back to me. The things I saw in the camps, the legs cut off, the hair, the children`s clothes. The memorials, the beds. I can`t explain how I felt when I was there – I was in one of the camps last year too. There`s something else about walking on historical paths where thousands of people were killed because they were who they were, because they were something someone else couldn`t accept. It was weird because 75 years ago we would`ve been killed if we were there, but now? Now we`re safe and sound. While we`re walking on places where people used to cry because the love of their live was shoot.

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I recommend everyone to visit these places. There`s a crazy huge difference between sitting in the classroom and learning those things and actually seeing it for yourself. Standing there is an experience and moment I`ll never forget.

I feel a little sorry for the next generations, as the victims and the people who can tell us important stories from the first and second world war are slowly dying. Magnhild died last month, which saddened me. That`s why it`s so important to keep these stories alive! I want to thank Østmarka and for everyone else who made the trip so memoriable. It was the best trip ever. 🙂DSC_0637