A class of Bushey school children were given special access to parts of Anne Frank’s home thanks to one student’s personal connection to the Frank family.
12-year-old Tali Blitz, a pupil at Immanuel College in Bushey, is the great granddaughter of Sientje Blitz, who is mentioned in the historic diary and played a part in hiding the Frank family for almost two years.
The Year 7 class were on a school trip to Amsterdam from May 20-23 when they managed to get an exclusive tour of parts of Anne Frank’s home and garden which are not normally open to tourists.
Anne Frank’s diaries of life in Nazi-occupied Holland became legendary when they were published in 1947.
While living in Amsterdam in the 1930s, Sientje Blitz introduced her neighbour, Miep Giles, to Otto Frank, Anne Frank’s father, who she then began working for. Miep Giles and her husband looked after Anne Frank and her family for nearly two years while they were in hiding in Otto Frank’s office building. She brought them food every day while continuing her day job downstairs.
Tali Blitz’s grandmother was referred to in the diary as "Mrs Blik" to conceal her true identity.
Miss Ribeiro, head of Year 7, said: "I spoke to the guide and explained who Tali was. We were then given access to the office area where Tali’s great grandmother would have met with Otto Frank. We were also allowed into the kitchen where the jams would have been made and into the gardens. These areas are normally closed off to the public."
At the end of the tour, the school presented the Anne Frank Museum with a copy of the school’s Siddur, and inside Tali wrote a personal message to Anne and included a photo of her great grandmother.
When asked how she felt during the visit, Tali Blitz said: "It was a really unique experience, which helped me to feel a close connection with my great grandmother, but also with the story of Anne Frank."