German railway company

30 Okt 2017 13:00
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The German railway company Deutsche Bahn has launched an initiative in which the public can suggest names for new high-speed trains. Anne Frank is one of the names that have been put forward.

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Controversy

The proposed naming has caused controversy, and we understand that. The combination of Anne Frank and a train evokes associations with the persecution of the Jews and the deportations during the Second World War. The combination is painful for the people who experienced these deportations, and causes fresh pain to those who still bear the consequences of those times within them.

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Symbolic power

We realise that initiatives such as this are usually taken with good intentions. Anne Frank has great symbolic power, and this has led to a multitude of manifestations, such as the naming of streets, schools and parks, but also Halloween costumes and expressions of antisemitism in the world of football. This phenomenon is expected to only become stronger and more varied in the coming years. The significance of Anne Frank will increasingly have a contemporary rather than a historical basis.

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Anne Frank's history

The Anne Frank House sees it as its task to represent the life story of Anne Frank in a historically reliable and authentic way. We encourage everyone to learn about this history, and to reflect on its meaning for the world today.