But on the day we visited the Anne Frank House, there were just as many people at that otherwise indistinguishable apartment at 263 Prisengracht, waiting in line to stand for just a minute upstairs in a hiding place where a young lady waited patiently for the end of the war, all the time using her own blood to write her heart out over the pages of her diary.
Maybe the most beautiful thing I saw in the Netherlands earlier this summer was a room where a girl--hardly a woman--dreamed of blue skies and a walk in a park and yet told the rest of us she hoped we were loving what she couldn't. Hers was the darkest days of Dutch history, not the Golden Age.
William of Orange is more important to Dutch history, but Anne Frank is the very heart of the human story.
"I know exactly how I'd like to be, how I am...on the inside [...] I'm guided by the pure Anne on the inside, but outside I'm nothing but a frolicsome little goat tugging at its tether [...] If I'm being completely honest, I'll have to admit that it does matter to me, that I'm trying very hard to change myself, but that I'm always up against a more powerful enemy [...] if I'm quiet and serious, everyone thinks I'm putting on a new act and I have to save myself with a joke [...] I get cross, then sad, and finally end up turning my heart inside out, the bad part on the outside and the good part on the inside, and keep trying to find a way to become what I'd like to be and what I could be if ... there were no other people in the world.
"Yours, Anne M. Frank."
Sixty-seven years ago today, July 31, 1944, Ms. Anne Frank, once again, poured out her heart, but these words are the very last words of that most famous--because most human--diary.