Monday, July 22, 2024
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Germans too scared or too anti-Semitic to defend Anne Frank?


REPORTED in Frontline News yesterday was a worrying story – and a sign of our appeasement times. It relates how officials in the German city of Tangerhütte in Saxony-Anhalt are considering renaming their Anne Frank children’s nursery to be more ‘inclusive’ and ‘diverse’ after complaints from migrant parents. 

The daycare centre was named after the Jewish Holocaust victim when it was set up in 1970, but officials now say this is ‘too political’. Oh yes? Or do they mean it will upset some of their residents? Read the weasel words of the town’s mayor here:

‘Parents and staff desire a name that aligns more with the revised concept, a name free from global political association . . . Tangerhütte stands for an open-minded Germany.’

So open-minded that one of the most poignant symbols of Nazi persecution of the Jews has to be cancelled. Reportedly the impetus came from immigrant parents who complained that the story of Anne Frank ‘is difficult to understand’ and unrelated to them. In that case, it is time they had its significance explained to them. 

In Saxony-Anhalt, the largest group of migrants after Ukrainians are Syrians, who comprise over 20 per cent of the foreign population. In the state’s Stendal district where Tangerhütte is located, Syrians comprise the largest foreign group at almost 30 per cent of the migrant population, followed by Afghans at 11.2 per cent, according to a report from the Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography. 

The Chairman of the State Association of Jewish Communities in the region says ‘the reference to the parents with a migrant background, who often cannot do anything with the name of Anne Frank, is the best argument against the name change: This argument means that the integration of these parents into German society is failing.’ 

That, I would say, is an understatement. 

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Edited by Kathy Gyngell

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