Pupils of Immanuel College in Bushey received a special tour of the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam thanks to student Tali Blitz’s connection to the Frank family.
It was the 12-year-old’s great-grandmother, Sientie Blitz, who introduced Anne’s father, Otto Frank, to Miep Gies, who helped to hide the family. Mrs Blitz was mentioned in the Diary of Anne Frank as Mrs Blik, Anne’s nickname for her.
When a teacher explained this to a guide, the group was given access to parts of the house normally not open to the public.
Pupils saw the office area where Mrs Blitz met Otto Frank. They were also allowed into the kitchens and gardens.
As a thank you, they presented the museum with a copy of the school siddur, in which Tali had written a message and attached a photo of Mrs Blitz.
Tali said the experience “helped me not only to feel a close connection with my great-grandmother, but also with the story of Anne Frank. When I gave the museum the prayer book, it occurred to me that Anne probably didn’t know most of the prayers or a lot about being Jewish.”
While in Amsterdam, the pupils also visited the Jewish Museum and the old Jewish quarter.