German kindergarten ditches plan to scrap Anne Frank’s name

Figures around the world voiced their disgust at plans to erase the Dutch Holocaust victims name


A controversial proposal to rename the Anne Frank kindergarten and daycare centre in eastern Germany has been shelved after international backlash.

After outcry over the plans, the centre in Tangerhütte, in Saxony-Anhalt, has said its board of trustees have unanimously decided against the renaming.

The decision came after the town council's parliamentary groups slammed the centre in a statement which stressed the importance of preserving historical memory, particularly in relation to the Holocaust.

“The claim by the kindergarten management that the name Anne Frank is unsuitable and difficult to convey to children shows that those responsible are oblivious to history,” it said.

The Anne Frank centre was named after the Dutch Jewish girl whose diary, written in hiding in Amsterdam, poignantly captured the terror of life under Nazi persecution in the Second World war.

Voices around the world voiced their shock and disgust at the plans to erase her name, a move supported by the local mayor, Andreas Brohm.

Merle Vokkert, 53, pastor in the local Evangelical parish of Haltern, said she found it completely unfathomable that the centre had originally decided to change its name.

“I don’t know what prompted those responsible to make this decision. I can't understand it. A name change would never be an option for us. Anne Frank is still very important. She is still relevant today.

"The Anne Frank Kindergarten also shows, through its name, the basic principles which the children are taught.

“You can talk to children about death. So why not talk about the Jewish girl who was persecuted and killed because of her religion?"

Mayor Brohm, an independent politician, has come under pressure to consider his future from several town councillors for his handling of the renaming plan.

Speaking earlier this month, he said: “Parents and staff desire a name that aligns more with the revised concept, a name free from global political association."

But town council chairman Werner Jacob (CDU) said “the issue still needed to be discussed further."

He added: “Morally, he [Mayor Brohm] has completely failed and that will have consequences.”

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