A decision by German train operator to name one of their new high-speed trains after the holocaust victim Anne Frank, has been branded 'tasteless' by an MP and sparked debate on social media. Anne Frank's diaries famously detail her life as a young Jewish girl in hiding from Nazi occupiers in Amsterdam.
Millions of Jews were transported to their deaths by train during the Nazi's reign. One BILD editor wrote on Twitter that the company, Deutsche Bahn (DB) "now names trains after victims of the deportation by the railway".
One German MP, Iris Eberl wrote on social media that the choice was "tasteless", according to the BBC.
Anne Frank is one of 25 names DB has selected to be on new ICE-4 high speed trains set to go into service over 2018 and 2019. Others famous names on the list include Marlene Dietrich, Albert Einstein, Ludwig von Beethoven and Karl Marx.
The company says the fleet of trains will grow to over 100 by 2023. One member of the jury who selected the name from submitted proposals was Professor Gisela Mettele of Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
In a DB press release she described the range of figures as "impressive", adding: "As different as the chosen personalities are, they have one thing in common: they were curious about the world." A spokesperson for the state-owned company told the BBC that Anne Frank was a symbol of tolerance and represented "peaceful co-existence of different cultures, which is more important than ever in times such as this".
The Anne Frank House in Amsterdam said in a statement: "The combination of Anne Frank and a train evokes associations with the persecution of the Jews and the deportations during the Second World War. The combination is painful for the people who experienced these deportations, and causes fresh pain to those who still bear the consequences of those times within them."
The organisation added: "We realise that initiatives such as this are usually taken with good intentions."