The Anne Frank daycare center in Tangerhütte, Germany, has announced it may soon be known by a new name. The day care has been named after the prominent Holocaust victim since 1970. Now, after migrant parents complained that they found it difficult to explain the current name to their children, some are demanding it be renamed “World Explorers.”
According to the manager of the daycare, the center has undergone renovations over the past year and now is looking for a name “without a political background.” The city, which runs the daycare, says no final decision has been made. However, Mayor Andreas Brohm said the idea to rename the daycare is part of the city’s broader desire to celebrate the diversity of the children who attend. One newspaper reported, “Ultimately, the parents and employees wanted a name that was more ‘child-friendly’ and ‘better suited to their concept.’”
In other words, Frank is no longer seen to be aligned with the “new focus on diversity.”
However, state and local leaders, alongside community members, have vehemently opposed the change. Economy minister of the state of Saxony-Anhalt Sven Schulze said his party “will of course not agree to the renaming of the Anne Frank daycare centre. I hope all the other councillors won’t either.” He went on to call the proposal “completely absurd, instinctive and small-minded.” Other leaders claimed that by changing the name, the community—and the nation as a whole—would be turning its back on Anne Frank, and the remembrance culture in Germany as a whole.
A nonprofit organization, Miteinander e.V., which supports democratic society, warned that parents, center management, and city parliament must “make a prudent and responsible decision in the face of a massive rise in antisemitism.”
As of December 11, 2023, the day care center has not changed its name. Due to backlash, reports say the conversations have been put on hold.