A newly opened Amsterdam cafe named the “Anne and Frank Bakery” was in the process of changing its name, according to Tuesday media reports.
The bakery is in the same neighborhood as the Anne Frank House, where the Jewish teenage diarist hid from the Nazis before she and her family were discovered and deported to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, where she died in 1945.
The bakery’s owner, Roberto Barsoum, said he had not meant any offense by the name.
“Anne Frank is a hero for many people and for me too,” he told the Dutch NU news site. “Because my business is in the same neighborhood as the Anne Frank House, it seemed like a nice name to me.”
However, people on social media strongly disagreed.
Elke vorm van schaamte en fatsoen voorbij. Een bakkerij om de hoek van het @annefrankhuis om toeristen te trekken. Zelfs al heten de eigenaars Anne en Frank dan is het nog stuitend. @AnneFrankCenter pic.twitter.com/zjLEFp7thZ
— Drukke Toestand (@DrukkeToestand) August 25, 2018
“Without any kind of shame or decency, a bakery around the corner from the Anne Frank House is trying to attract tourists,” one Twitter user wrote in Dutch. “Even if the owners were named Anne and Frank, it would still be shocking.”
According to NU, Barsoum removed the name from the window on Monday.
“It’s just a small business where we want to sell a few croissants a day,” he said. “If I offend people with this name, I’d rather think of something else.”
He said he wanted to think carefully before making the final decision, so as not to offend people in the future.
Anne Frank, who was 13 when she went into hiding with her family, wrote journals during her time there. Her father later edited them into a book titled “The Diary of a Young Girl.” Published in 1947, it became a bestseller and turned Anne Frank into a symbol of persecution and one of the world’s best-known Holocaust victims.