Anne Frank in 1940, while at 6. Montessorischool, Niersstraat 41-43, Amsterdam.
(photo credit: PUBLIC DOMAIN)
After Germany’s national railway announced plans to name a train after Anne Frank, World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder demanded Deutsche Bahn take responsibility for its predecessor company’s role in the deportation of Jews to death camps during the Holocaust.
Following the announcement of the name last month, people were outraged. They took to social media to voice their disapproval of the company's decision to name the train after Frank, who was not specifically identified as a victim of the Holocaust. Frank was included in a list of influential Germans who had trains named in their honor.
In a letter to Deutsche Bahn’s CEO, Lauder blasted the rail company for whitewashing history. “Anne Frank was deported by the trains of the Reichsbahn [Deutsche Bahn’s predecessor] to Auschwitz…. Anne Frank cannot simply be honored as a ‘great German.’ Rather, this naming represents the six million Jews who were murdered by Germans during the Nazi era,” Lauder wrote.
“It would therefore be appropriate for the passengers of the Anne Frank to be informed about this history…" he added. "It could be done by telling the fate of Anne Frank in train schedules on the trains, or in separate leaflets, and creating a context for naming the ICE [high-speed train] after her.”