Report: Dutch Thought Anne Frank House ″Not Worth Saving″ | Europe| News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 05.10.2008
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Report: Dutch Thought Anne Frank House "Not Worth Saving"

The Dutch government in the 1950s had no objections to the tearing down of the house where Anne Frank wrote her wartime diary, a newspaper report said.

Anne Frank

Anne Frank hid with her family in an Amsterdam apartment from 1942 to 1944

The place where the young Jewish girl described life hiding from persecution by the Nazis was not considered worthy of preservation, De Telegraaf said Sunday, Oct. 5, quoting from a letter written by Joseph Luns, the foreign minister at the time.

Luns said the house where Anne and her family hid from 1942 until her betrayal in 1944 was "not an historical monument of the Netherlands" and unremarkable from an architectural point of view.

The letter was sent to the Dutch ambassador to the United States, informing him of the official position of the Ministry of Education, Art and Science towards the Anne Frank House.

The newspaper said the letter was discovered recently when the part of the ministry's archives was being moved to a new home.

House narrowly escaped demolition

According to the Anne Frank Foundation, it was apparently written in response to questions by Americans why the house was not declared an historic building.

Anne Frank's house

The Anne Frank house is now a museum

Located on Amsterdam's Prinsengracht, the house began attracting its first visitors shortly after the book Anne Frank -- "The Dairy of a Young Girl" was published in 1947.

In the mid-1950s, a real estate firm proposed knocking it down to make way for a modern building, but dropped the idea after a series of protests.

The firm signed over the rights of the house in 1957 to the Anne Frank Foundation, which collected donations and turned it into a museum three years later.

Since then it has attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.

Anne Frank was deported to the German concentration camp at Belsen where she died in March 1945 at the age of 16.

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