Anne Frank statue in Amsterdam vandalized with ‘Gaza’ graffiti

July 11, 2024
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A statue of Anne Frank, the young Jewish girl who hid along with other Jewish people for nearly two years in a secret annex in Amsterdam during the Holocaust before they were detained, was defaced with “Gaza” graffiti, sparking immediate outrage.

The Center for Information and Documentation Israel posted a photo on X Tuesday showing “Gaza” spray-painted in red at the bottom of the statue at the Merwedeplein, a housing complex where Anne Frank and her family lived in Amsterdam before the Nazis drove them into hiding in 1942.

“It is truly shameful that someone would think to draw attention to the Palestinian cause by smearing an image of Anne Frank, an international symbol of the Holocaust,” Amsterdam counselor Stijn Nijssen wrote in a translated post on X.

The American Jewish Committee called it a “vile act of antisemitism.”

“What does a young girl brutally murdered by the Nazis have to do with the Palestinian cause? Absolutely nothing,” the organization wrote. “This is a despicable act of hate, not activism.”

The European Jewish Congress slammed it as an act of “antisemitism.”

“Such acts disrespect her memory and the 6 million Jews murdered during the Holocaust,” it said on X. “We hope the perpetrators are brought to justice swiftly.”

The Anne Frank Trust UK said it was “profoundly saddened” over the vandalism.

“The vandal may have meant to draw attention to suffering in Gaza, but by targeting an innocent victim of the Holocaust, their message became one of vicious antisemitism,” the organization wrote in a statement on X, adding: “With anti-Jewish hatred reaching unprecedented levels in many parts of the world, this distressing crime makes clear that anti-prejudice education is more vital than ever.”

The statue was unveiled in July 2005, according to the Anne Frank Foundation, to honor the famous diarist who died at the age of 15 in the Bergen Belsen camp.

The statue depicts Anne Frank with a school bag under one arm and a bag under the other as she looks in the direction of her home, the foundation said.

Amsterdam police said it was notified of the vandalism Tuesday afternoon and immediately started an investigation. No arrests had been made as of Thursday morning.

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