Anne Frank commemoration dispute spawns Nazi comparison


(JTA) — A manager of Switzerland’s Anne Frank Fund accused a Dutch organization bearing the Jewish diarist’s name of a Nazi-style seizure of the Frank family’s possessions.

“In the 1940s, the Frank family had its possessions seized by the Germans and their accomplices. Now a Dutch institution is trying again to carry out a seizure,” Yves Kugelmann, a board member of the Swiss fund, was quoted on Wednesday as telling the Dutch Volkskrant daily.

Maartje Mostart, a spokeswoman for the Amsterdam-based Anne Frank Foundation to which Kugelmann was referring, told the daily she found the statements and dispute “very sad.”

The fund and foundation have had a protracted legal dispute over possession of an archive containing 25,000 letters and other documents belonging to the family of Anne Frank, the famed diarist who recorded her time in hiding from the Nazis in occupied Amsterdam. She died in 1944 at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp at 15.

The archive has been in the care of the Anne Frank Foundation since 2007 on a loan from the fund that the foundation expected would become permanent, The Associated Press reported.

The fund, headed by Anne’s closest living relative, her cousin Buddy Elias, now wants the material to go to a new permanent Frank Family Center at the Jewish Museum in Germany.

Last July, a Dutch civil court in a provisional ruling rejected the fund’s demand for an immediate return of the archive.

The Dutch foundation administers the Anne Frank House, which last year received a record-breaking 1,152,888 visitors.

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