Honorary Citizenship for Anne Frank
Too little, too late. I just don’t see a reason for it. There are other ways to honor her memory and the other victims too.
“He first enlisted a friend, Representative Steve Israel of Long Island, a Democrat, in efforts to have a commemorative stamp issued in her honor by the United States Postal Service. The Postal Service, however, informed them that it issued stamps only in honor of deceased American citizens or â€œAmerican-related subjects,â€ a permitted category that has allowed stamps produced in honor of Mickey Mouse, Spider-Man and the Incredible Hulk.
Representative Israel proposed honorary citizenship in 2004, but the bill died. Then a few days ago â€” prompted in part by the release of documents earlier this month showing that Anne Frankâ€™s father tried desperately in 1941 to obtain a United States visa to leave Nazi-occupied Holland â€” he introduced it again.
â€œThe best way we can honor Anne Frank in death is to give her what her father sought for her in life,â€ the congressman said.
Seventeen House members from both parties have signed on as co-sponsors. It would make Anne Frank only the seventh person to be granted honorary citizenship in the history of the country.
The others are Winston S. Churchill; the Marquis de Lafayette; Mother Teresa; the Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, who worked to save Jews in World War II; William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania; and his wife Hannah Callowhill Penn.
Relatives of Anne, who died at age 15 in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945, said they were not so certain that this would have been the familyâ€™s wish.
â€œI cannot see the point,â€ said Bernd Elias, a first cousin and president of the Anne Frank Foundation, a charitable organization based in Basel, Switzerland. â€œShe saw herself as Dutch. That is the country she wanted to be a citizen of.â€
Mr. Elias said his cousin would no more have wanted to become an American citizen â€œthan she would have wanted to become a Cuban citizen.â€