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German train dubbed 'Anne Frank' causes controversy

Anne Frank's name is one of 25 famous Germans chosen by a jury after a public consultation which will adorn new ICE trains.

The decision to name a high-speed train after prominent Holocaust victim Anne Frank has generated a bit of controversy in Germany. "The combination is painful for people who experienced deportations and causes pain to those still carrying the consequences of then", the foundation said, according to the newspaper.

Berlin-based Deutsche Bahn said the move was "in no way meant to damage the memory of Anne Frank". A DB spokesperson Antje Neubauer has defended the decision, telling the BBC that Frank represents a "peaceful co-existence of different cultures, which is more important than ever in times such as this".

The foundation acknowledged that the rail company likely had "good intentions" with the move, and said it wouldn't take further action.

Julian Reichelt, a journalist at the popular German daily Bild, tweeted: "Now DB is naming trains after victims of the deportation by train, starting with Anne Frank". Anne Frank has great symbolic power, and this has led to a multitude of manifestations, such as the naming of streets, schools and parks, but also Halloween costumes and expressions of antisemitism in the world of football. "The significance of Anne Frank will increasingly have a contemporary rather than a historical basis", the website said.

DB is state-owned and the successor of the Deutsche Reichsbahn, which deported millions of Jews and other victims of the Nazis.

In a statement, DB apologised if feelings had been hurt, and said it will "take seriously the concern now expressed by the public and will hold internal discussions, with the blessing of Jewish organisations".

The Jewish teenager's wartime diary about her time hiding from the Nazis was a global sensation but she was eventually transported to her death from Amsterdam by train.

They evaded capture and deportation until they were possibly betrayed in August 1944 and Anne and her sister were sent to Bergen-Belsen, where they died in early 1945.



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