The Anne Frank Fund on the Anne Frank Foundation: They’re acting like Nazis

Yves Kugelmann says 'it's a matter of fact' that a Dutch institution is again trying to seize the family's possessions

A war of words has broken out between two rival charities bearing the name of the diarist Anne Frank, with one of the foundations accusing the other of acting like Nazis.

The Anne Frank Fund in Basel, Switzerland, is trying to retrieve about 25,000 letters, documents and photographs that it lent the Netherlands-based Anne Frank Foundation in 2007. The Dutch foundation, however, insists that it is the legal owner of some of the archive.

The increasingly bitter dispute over the papers of the Second World War diarist has been rumbling on in the courts since 2011, but it spilt into the press this week when one of the Swiss fund’s board members accused the Dutch organisation of actions reminiscent of Nazi Germany.

“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 told the Dutch newspaper, De Volkskrant.

A spokeswoman at the Anne Frank Foundation, which runs the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam where the Jewish teenager hid from the Nazis, said they had been trying to resolve the dispute discreetly. “It’s really sad this is happening,” Maatje Mostart told the Associated Press news agency.

It is not the first time the Swiss and Dutch charities have clashed over Anne’s legacy, whose recollections of her time hiding from the Nazis before her family was caught and deported to a concentration camp have made her a symbol of the Holocaust.

While Anne died aged 15 in a camp, her father Otto survived and published his daughter’s diary. He helped set up the Anne Frank House and bequeathed copies of her writings to the Dutch state, before moving to Switzerland in his later life and setting up the Anne Frank Fund there.

Since then the two organisations have tried to work together, but they fought a court battle in the 1990s when the Basel-based fund tried to gain exclusive rights to use her name. It argued that the foundation was commercialising her legacy.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper / Office Co-ordinator

£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...

Recruitment Genius: Designer - Print & Digital

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...

Recruitment Genius: Quantity Surveyor

£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales / Telemarketing Executive - OTE £30k / £35k plus

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003