Anne Frank Poster Defaced in Dutch Town

'Nazi' Scrawled at Bus Stop in Haarlem


Published May 13, 2014.
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A poster for a theater play on the life of Anne Frank was defaced with anti-Semitic symbols, prompting calls for a parliamentary inquiry.

Unidentified individuals on Saturday or Sunday wrote the words “Jews” and “Hitler” and painted a Star of David on the large poster, which was hanging at a bus stop near the city of Haarlem, 10 miles west of Amsterdam, the Volkskrant daily reported. They also drew a large Nazi swastika on the bus stop’s garbage bin.

The 66-inch poster, which featured a picture of Anne Frank, was an advertisement for the theater play “Anne,” which premiered in Amsterdam on May 8 in the presence of King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands.

The play is the first theatrical adaptation that is based on the full archives of the family of Anne Frank, the teenage diarist who documented her time in hiding from the Nazis in Amsterdam before she and her family were discovered and deported to concentration camps. She died in the German concentration camp Bergen-Belsen in 1945 at the age of 15.

Velsen Mayor Franc Weerwind, who runs the municipality where the bus stop is located, told the regional broadcaster RTV NH on Monday he did not know whether the perpetrators were old or young, but said the incident reflected “that we are living in a society that is suffering from a lack of historical consciousness.”

He added: “The image of the bus stop was a horrible scene that I reject resolutely. The police started investigating and we are also looking into the matter, to track down the people who did this.”

Joram van Klaveren, a lawmaker who splintered off of Geert Wilders’ Party for Freedom, told the broadcaster he intends to file a parliamentary query to Social Affairs Minister Lodewijk Asscher as to his ministry’s position regarding the incident.

The theater show “Anne” was produced in cooperation with the Anne Frank Fonds in Basel, a not-for-profit organization which was founded in 1963 by Anne Frank’s father, Otto Frank.

Producers recently entered a partnership with Amsterdam’s Jewish Historical Museum in which the show serves as part of an educational program which seeks to place Anne Frank’s story “in a broader Jewish context by giving the visitors a chance to get acquainted with Judaism,” according to a statement by Theater Amsterdam, where the show is playing.

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