A German nursery said it wanted a name ‘without a political background’ but it comes amid growing concern at the rise in anti-Semitism.
The alteration was seen as particularly biting in light of rising antisemitism in Germany.
News of the plan to alter the name drew criticism and escalated media attention on Tangerhütte, a small town in northern Germany where the center has operated under that name since the 1970s, for fifty years.
The alteration was seen as particularly biting, in light of rising antisemitism in Germany, and against the backdrop of the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas, sparked by the terror group’s devastating October 7 atrocities in southern Israel.
The city of Tangerhutte issued a press release on Monday clarifying the decision to rename the daycare center which is currently named after Anne Frank, a German Jewish girl who had kept a diary while hiding in Amsterdam from Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. Officials said the topic had been brought up months prior to the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas.
After Frank’s death of Typhus at the age of 15 in a concentration camp in 1945, her father found her diary, and it was published.
“As early as July 2023, the daycare center and the board of trustees presented the new concept and the changes to the local council as the first responsible body in a daycare inspection,” the city wrote in its press release. “On this occasion, the topic of name changes also came up. These discussions are still ongoing without a decision being made at the moment.”
Linda Schichor, the daycare director reportedly explained that a more child-friendly name had been chosen as the story of Anne Frank is difficult to understand, and added that parents with a migrant background don’t relate to the name, according to n-tv.
Tangerhutte Mayor Andreas Brohm added city council had “received many constructive suggestions and proposals,” noting that they were “very grateful.”
City officials said several parents and employees from the daycare had brought up the idea of the name change, according to the outlet.
“We wanted something without political background,” Schichor said, the German media outlet Volksstimme first reported.
The renaming of the daycare was met with criticism. Sven Schulze, the leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in Germany wrote in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, that the CDU members in the city council of Tangerhutte would “not agree” to renaming the daycare.