Letter reveals Anne Frank house as ‘unworthy’

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According to De Telegraaf, The Dutch government had no objections to the house where Anne Frank wrote her wartime diary being torn down in the 1950s. The place where the young Jewish girl described life hiding from persecution by the Nazis was not considered worthy of preservation, De Telegraaf said, 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 a historical monument of the Netherlands” and unremarkable from an architectural point of view. The letter, dated May 3, 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.

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. 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.

(Link: earthtimes.org)

1 Comment »

  1. Well, Luns was right- from an *architectural* perspective, it’s an unremarkable building. The incidental facts about the structure are what make it profound.

    Comment by Darth Paul — October 7, 2008 @ 5:44 pm

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