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German railway nixes plan for 'Anne Frank' train

February 28, 2018

Deutsche Bahn caused an outcry when it announced it would name one of its new trains after the writer. The Anne Frank museum said it was inappropriate in light of Frank's deportation to Auschwitz.

An ICE-4 train
Image: Deutsche Bahn/Foto: Detlev Wecke

Germany's rail service Deutsche Bahn (DB) announced on Wednesday that it had reversed its decision to name trains after historical figures. The move came after months of criticism following its announcement of an "Anne Frank" train.

"We have to admit that we misjudged the situation and have caused offense," DB told the Bild daily.

When the new train names were announced last October, an uproar arose when the famous German-Dutch diarist was listed as a possibility. It escaped no one's attention, least of all that of the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, that a German train took Frank and her family to Auschwitz.

Anne Frank's diary
Frank's diary has become one of the most famous narratives from a Holocaust victimImage: APTN

The museum acknowledged that DB had "good intentions," but it feared that connecting Frank with a train might be "painful for the people who experience these deportations, and causes fresh pain to those who still bear the consequences of those times within them."

At the time, DB said it had wanted to honor the writer, who was born in Frankfurt, not tarnish her memory.

However, it appeared on Wednesday that after discussions with Jewish groups including the Anne Frank Foundation, DB had thought better of it.

DB's latest generation of trains, the ICE-4 fleet, is meant to show "the most beautiful side of Germany," the rail operator said.

es/sms (KNA, EPD)