German town debates changing name of Anne Frank childcare center
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Total News Sources
1 month ago
Debate is heating up in Germany over a proposed name change for a child care facility named after Anne Frank, the Jewish girl whose diary told the world the story of how her family hid from the Nazis in the 1940s.
Discussions about changing the name of the Anne Frank Daycare Center in the town of Tangerutte began in early 2023, according to local officials. But the Israel-Hamas war and a growing awareness of creeping antisemitism in germany has brought attention to the community.
While no formal decision has been made, Tangerutte said in a statement that it was considering changing the name to “World Explorer” to be more diverse as the center undergoes a concept change, quote: “to make this fundamental change in concept visible to the outside world by giving the institution a different name in order to visibly mark this fundamental new beginning.”
German media outlets report that migrant parents and employees at the daycare center pushing for the name change say that it is difficult for the children and their families to understand and relate to Anne Frank’s story, and that the name world explorer is more child-friendly.
The daycare’s manager, Linda Schichor, told the media, “we wanted something without a political background.”
Tangerutte Mayor Andreas Brohm said the town wanted to find something “that has a more positive connotation, not because Anne Frank has a negative connotation, but because people associate what they associate with it and with the day-care center concept.”
Wind of the possible name change has some local leaders and Jewish rights groups outraged, one council member calling the possible name change quote: “completely absurd, instinctive, and small minded,” particularly as the world watches the israel-hamas war play out.
And according to a German think tank, the country has seen a rise in anti-Semitism since Hamas’s Oct. 7 terrorist attack on Israel that resulted in 1,400 deaths.
The day care center has been named after Anne Frank since its inception in the early 1970s, and while a final decision has not been made, the mayor said parents’ and employees’ desire for a name that better reflects the new school concept outweighs global political considerations.