Anne Frank statue in Amsterdam defaced ‘for Gaza’

A local bookseller said it ‘represents the 14,000 Jews from this neighbourhood who were murdered’


A vandal painted "Gaza" on a statue of Anne Frank, located near the famed Holocaust diarist's first home in Amsterdam, a local antisemitism watchdog said on Tuesday.

"More 'anti-Zionism'," the Hague-based Centre for Information and Documentation Israel wrote on social media.

"The statue of Anne Frank on the Merwede Square in Amsterdam, where the Jewish diarist lived until she went into hiding in 1942, has been defaced with red paint and the text 'Gaza'."

The watchdog added that a police report had been filed.

Anne Frank, her older sister and their parents lived in an apartment at Merwede Square 37-2 after moving to the Dutch capital from Nazi Germany in 1938. They went into hiding four years later. The only video of the teenager was captured from outside this apartment on July 22, 1941.

Local bookseller Gert-Jan Jimmink, who was behind the erection of the monument some 20 years ago, told Amsterdam's local AT5 news station that he previously urged the city to install cameras and street lighting.

The statue of Frank "represents the 14,000 Jews from this neighbourhood who were murdered," he told the news station. "It has nothing to do with current events."

"These kind of statements are misplaced and disrespectful," Bart Vink, the district's chairman, told the news station. "We'll have it removed as quickly as possible."

Last month, an anti-Israel group vandalised a university building and several companies, alleged to have ties to the Jewish state, with red paint in protest of the war against Hamas terrorists.

In February 2023, hateful messages were projected on the façade of the Anne Frank House, an independent nonprofit in Amsterdam, including the conspiracy theory that she did not pen her diary.

"Anne Frank is the inventor of the ballpoint pen," one message read in Dutch. It followed long-circulated claims among Holocaust deniers and neo-Nazis, which have now become an Internet meme.

Last year, the Centre for Information and Documentation Israel recorded a 245 per cent rise in antisemitic incidents compared to 2023.

While there was a sharp rise in the number of incidents following the Hamas-led October 7 attacks, the total number of incidents before the massacre was already nearing the 2022 total, according to the CIDI.

“Jews in the Netherlands and the Jewish religion were often associated with the policies of the government in Israel, which caused Jews to become the target of antisemitic assaults,” the report stated.

Separately, Dutch police arrested a suspect after a Christian Zionist community centre in Nijkerk was defaced by anti-Israel activists on July 7.

"Free Gaza" was painted in red on the pavement outside the front entrance, the glass doors were daubed with huge red "X" marks, and a picture apparently of a wounded Gazan father and daughter was posted on the windows along with papers with the printed message in Dutch: "occupied by colonists."

Christians for Israel said that they had surveillance video of the two perpetrators and Dutch police later arrested a 33-year-old woman from Arnhem on suspicion that she participated.

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