Amsterdam , 6/26/2013
The Amsterdam District Court today pronounced its ruling in a court case brought by the Anne Frank Fonds in Basel, Switzerland, against the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam in 2011. The Anne Frank Fonds was demanding the immediate return of part of the Anne Frank Archives, which have been carefully administered by the Anne Frank House in consultation with the Anne Frank Fonds for many years.
In its ruling the Amsterdam District Court states that all the documents whose return has been demanded must be given back by January 2014. It also states that the Anne Frank House cannot lay any claim to the documents of which it believed it was the owner.
The Anne Frank House finds it regrettable that the archives cannot remain in the Anne Frank House. The Anne Frank House has never disputed that many of the archive documents are the property of the Anne Frank Fonds, but in view of the agreed long term of the loan of the documents to the Anne Frank House it could not accede to the demand for their immediate return.
The Anne Frank House and the Anne Frank Fonds have worked together in intensive and fruitful partnership for many years; the Anne Frank Fonds as the administrator of the copyright on Anne’s diary, and the Anne Frank House as the custodian of Anne Frank’s hiding place and the Anne Frank Collection, and as an educational organisation. There was no difference of opinion on the objectives of the two organisations, which worked together on a basis of trust. This basis of trust has come under pressure over the last three years, however. The reason for this appears to lie in a major change of policy by the Anne Frank Fonds, which has chosen to position itself as an independent organisation in the future.
The executive director of the Anne Frank House, Ronald Leopold, said in a statement: “The Anne Frank House finds it deeply regrettable that the two organisations stood in opposition to each other in court. We did everything in our power to avoid this. We hope that with this court ruling we can now put this period behind us, and that the partnership between the Anne Frank Fonds and the Anne Frank House can be resumed in close consultation and dialogue, in the interests of the legacy and the spirit of Anne Frank. A great responsibility rests on us all to spread the message of her legacy together.”
The court case brought by the Anne Frank Fonds did not concern the diaries of Anne Frank. These are the property of the Dutch State, and have been given to the Anne Frank House on permanent loan.