A bid to grant Dutch citizenship to Holocaust victim Anne Frank some 60 years after her death has been rejected by the country’s justice ministry.
The ministry said it was sympathetic to the campaign led by TV network KRO, but it was legally impossible to award citizenship posthumously.
KRO included the Holocaust diary-writer on a list of Greatest Dutch Persons.
Born German, Anne Frank arrived in the Netherlands as a refugee and one of her wishes was to become a Dutch citizen.
She spent much of her adolescence in hiding with her Jewish family in German-occupied Amsterdam before they were betrayed, and she met her death in a Nazi concentration camp in the closing days of World War II.
In the poignant 25-month diary she left, which was first published in 1947 and is now famous worldwide, she writes of wanting to gain Dutch citizenship.
Nazi laws meant she and her family had already been stripped of their German nationality.
‘Dutch in all but name’
KRO said Anne Frank remained on its Greatest Dutch Person voting list and was proving a popular choice with viewers.
“We knew she wasn’t Dutch but the [nominating] commission found that she did a lot for the Dutch people and contributed to our country,” said spokeswoman Monique Moeskops.
“A lot of people have been voting for Anne Frank.”
The network is due to reveal the 10 finalists in its competition next week. Other nominees include artists such as Rembrandt and football-players like Johan Cruyff.
William of Orange, the 16th Century monarch who was German by birth, is also on the list.
A spokeswoman for the Anne Frank House museum in Amsterdam said that not getting citizenship did not make the girl any less Dutch.
“Her legacy is Dutch, she wrote in Dutch, her diary was in Dutch,” said Patricia Bosboom.
“She was as Dutch as you can be – giving her citizenship would add nothing.”
GREAT DUTCH PERSONS
Apart from Anne Frank, the 200 nominations include William of Orange, Erasmus, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Ruud Gullit and beer magnate Freddy Heineken