German day care named after Anne Frank changes name for 'diversity' reasons

Anne Frank, the young Jewish girl whose diary of hiding from the Nazis in a Dutch attic came to symbolize the horror of the Holocaust, in an undated photo.
Anne Frank, the young Jewish girl whose diary of hiding from the Nazis in a Dutch attic came to symbolize the horror of the Holocaust, in an undated photo. | REUTERS/File

A day care center in Germany named after the Holocaust victim Anne Frank intends to change its name as part of a new diversity initiative despite growing concerns about a rise in anti-Semitic crimes in Germany.

The center is located in the village of Tangerhütte, and while it has been named after the Jewish girl for half a century, the plan is to rename it the "World Explorer Kindergarten."

Frank became one of the most well-known victims of the Holocaust, as her diary detailing the two years her family hid from Nazis was published in 1947, two years after her death at age 16.

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The decision to rename the center was influenced in part due to some immigrant families' unfamiliarity with the story of Frank's family.

As The Telegraph reported Monday, Linda Schichor, the center's director, told a local newspaper they wanted a name that did not come with a "political background." Schichor claimed that some migrant parents found it difficult to explain who Frank was to small children, citing this as another reason for the change. 

According to the Anne Frank House, the Jewish girl and her family went into hiding in 1942 after Anne's sister, Margot Frank, received a call-up to report to a labor camp. Anne's father, Otto Frank, arranged for the family to hide in an annex inside his business in the Netherlands, where the family remained until their discovery in 1944. 

Anne Frank later died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, but the diary she wrote while in hiding has been translated into around 70 languages and read by people all around the world. 

A local council member provided further context for the change, explaining that the rebranding is part of the day care's effort to place more emphasis on the "self determination and diversity" of its children, according to The Telegraph. 

The change comes amid a reported rise in anti-Semitic crime in Germany following the terrorist group Hamas' Oct. 7 attack against Israel. The terror group murdered 1,400 people, wounded more than 5,000 others and seized over 240 people as hostages. 

Last month, Israel commenced a ground invasion of Gaza to eradicate Hamas and secure the release of the hostages. The Hamas-run health authorities in Gaza say at least 10,000 people have died since Israel's retaliatory airstrikes began. Those figures don't differentiate between civilians and combatants. 

Thomas Haldenwang, the head of the German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, told German magazine Spiegel late last month that the outbreak of conflict in Gaza has led to a recent rise in anti-Semitic crime.

"I fear that this new wave of anti-Semitism will continue to occupy us for a long time," Haldenwang was quoted as saying by The Local Germany.

Since the outbreak of war between Israel and Hamas, Haldenwang said around 1,800 offenses related to the conflict have been reported.

"Our great concern is that disturbing images will emerge in the Gaza Strip as the war continues," he said. "And that this then leads to further radicalization here in Germany."

To curb the rise of anti-Semitic incidents, police have banned multiple pro-Palestinian protests. 

Referencing Germany's past of Nazism and Jewish hatred, Haldenwang said that the present circumstances "recall the worst times of German history," and he warned that "the situation could worsen further." 

Since the Hamas' invasion last month, Israel Defense Forces say the terrorist group has fired over 8,000 rockets into Israel. The IDF has also released footage showing that Hamas has positioned rocket launchers near children's playgrounds and other civilian sites, citing this as proof that the terrorist group uses civilians as human shields. 

On Monday, the IDF shared video footage of a building in the northern Gaza Strip, which the soldiers identified as a place where children likely play. The video highlighted the rocket launchers inside of the building, which a soldier noted appeared to be aimed north, maybe toward the city of Ashkelon in Israel.

In another video that the IDF shared on X on Sunday, soldiers in Beit Hanoun, a city on the northeast edge of the Gaza Strip, drew attention to rocket launcher barrels within a residential neighborhood. 

"What you can see here is a group of four launching barrels for rockets [being fired] towards Israel," an IDF soldier said in the video. "Only 5 meters from a children's swimming pool, and maybe 20-30 meters from residential buildings. All this in the heart of a residential neighborhood."

Samantha Kamman is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: Follow her on Twitter: @Samantha_Kamman

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