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Train named Anne Frank sparks anger in Germany

The Germany railway operator decision to name one of its new, high-speed trains Anne Frank, prompting many to post their objection on social media.

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Railway company Deutsche Bahn (DB) stirred up a storm in Germany after named one of its new InterCity Express (ICE) trains Anne Frank, ignoring the fact that the Holocaust diarist —like millions of other Jews —perished after being hauled to a Nazi extermination camp via the same method of transportation.

The train is set to make its first voyage in December.

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In September the company called on its customers to select the names for its 25 new urban express trains. 19,400 suggestions and 2,500 names were received—one of them being Anne Frank.

The DB naming committee selected names for the trains from the most popular suggestions. The company explained that their goal was to eternalize Anne Frank’s memory even further in German society.

According to Daily Mail, Antia Neubauer, DB’s head of public relations and member of the naming committee said that her name was picked for the representation of tolerance.

She said: “It stands for tolerance and for a peaceful co-existence of different cultures, which in times like these is more important than ever,”

Other names chosen for the trains include famous Jewish Germans such as theoretical physicist Albert Einstein and philosopher Karl Marx.

“The selected personalities have one thing in common: they were curious about the world,” said gender history professor, Gisela Mettele, and naming committee member.

But active people in the social media condemn the decision. A politician from the conservative Christian-Social Union party, Iris Erberl, calling the decision “disrespectful.”

One wrote: “Am I the only one who finds it strange to call a train of the legal successor of the Deutsche Reichsbahn Anne Frank?”

Germany’s national railway company Reichsbahn operated at the time of the Third Reich, and the predecessor of DB.

The company gathered disgrace for taking the job of transporting Jews and other victims to Nazi concentration and extermination camps.

Another scholar wrote: “The legal successor to the Reichsbahn, which does not compensate forced laborers to this day, baptizes an ICE train, Anne Frank. As a historian, I, unfortunately, find this wrong.”

It is not the first case regarding Anne Frank lately.

In October, just before Halloween, a website offered costumes for children including an outfit of Anne Frank.

Also in October, Lazio fans in Italy posted anti-Semitic stickers of Anne Frank wearing the jersey of their top-flight city rivals AS Roma. Italian police and soccer authorities opened investigations.



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