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German Town under Scrutiny

Renaming Anne Frank Center a Controversial Proposal
German+Town+under+Scrutiny
Photo by Gabe Pierce for Unsplash

A small German town called Tangerhütte is attempting to have a day care center renamed after generations of donning the moniker of a celebrated 15-year-old girl who died in the Nazi concentration camps. The care center was originally named after Anne Frank. Anne Frank and her story was a very important part of the Holocaust, and her experiences help us remember how terrifying it was. The town is currently under scrutiny about the name change.

Anne Frank was a Jewish girl of German descent who chronicled her life in hiding from Nazi persecution in a diary. Her diary, published as The Diary of a Young Girl, details her life in hiding from 1942 to 1944 during the German occupation of the Netherlands during World War II. The book made her one of the most talked-about Jewish victims of the Holocaust and brought her posthumous fame. It has also served as the inspiration for numerous plays and movies.

Politicians and regular people alike are challenging the renaming of the Tangerhütte daycare center. The history of Anne Frank and her connection to the horrors faced by Jews in Nazi Germany are making many people wonder if the motives are antisemitic. Representatives for the daycare claim that today’s children don’t understand the message of Anne Frank and that parents and people moving in might not understand the school’s name. Some parents and daycare workers favor a new name that is more child-friendly.

The school administrator said they also don’t want a political name. As tensions are rising in Germany, this has caused Jewish politicians to speak out. Christof Huebner, the executive vice president of the International Auschwitz Community, wrote a letter saying the townspeople were turning their backs on Anne Frank.

A nonprofit organization, Miteinander e.V, also warned about right-wing extremists, and it said, “We appeal to parents, daycare center management, and the city parliament to make a prudent and responsible decision in the face of a massive rise in antisemitism.” As criticism mounts, the town has issued a statement that said nothing had been done and that they are still deciding. They also noted that as early as July 2023, they were discussing the name change, and that the decision is still pending.

Meanwhile, Mayor Andreas Broham said that their town is open-minded and that they have received a lot of constructive name changes. The future of the name change now seems uncertain. People speculate the name change may not come because of all the scrutiny. Only time will tell whether the name will be changed or not.

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