Dutch nationality for Anne Frank 'tactless'

4th October 2004, Comments 0 comments

4 October 2004 , AMSTERDAM — Posthumously awarding Dutch nationality to German-born diarist Anne Frank would be tactless, a spokesman for the Dutch Institute for War Documentation (NIOD) said on Monday.

4 October 2004

AMSTERDAM — Posthumously awarding Dutch nationality to German-born diarist Anne Frank would be tactless, a spokesman for the Dutch Institute for War Documentation (NIOD) said on Monday.

NIOD official David Barnouw was reacting to moves by Dutch public broadcaster KRO and other organisations to have Dutch citizenship bestowed on Frank, who died a stateless citizen in the Nazi Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945.

Frank lost her German nationality via a Nazi law in 1941, which deprived all Jews living outside of Germany of their German citizenship, Dutch public broadcaster NOS reported on Monday.

Broadcaster KRO is campaigning for Frank to be awarded Dutch nationality because she has been nominated for the title "The Greatest Dutch National". Viewers will vote for the greatest Dutch citizen of all time mid-November.

Barnouw, who is an expert on the life of Anne Frank, said it was ridiculous to only bestow Dutch nationality on the teenager "for a top 10 on TV". He said every other deceased German Jew should then also be posthumously awarded Dutch nationality.

And reacting to Dutch MPs who have backed the calls, Barnouw said if they looked deeply into their hearts, the politicians would find that they do not want to give Dutch citizenship to Frank.

"It is such a sensitive subject that people therefore always want to be correct and do not dare to honestly express their opinion," he said.

Moreover, the discussion appears purely academic because the Justice Ministry has indicated that Dutch citizenship can only be granted on people who are still alive.

"However sympathetic we find the idea; the law does not allow people to get Dutch nationality posthumously. We cannot change the law for that purpose," a ministry spokeswoman said.

Anne Frank was made famous for her diary written in hiding in an Amsterdam canal house with her family and four other people between 1942-44. The occupants of the house were eventually betrayed to the Nazis.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news

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