Two employees of an Amsterdam tram company are denying making anti-Semitic comments about Anne Frank as their vehicle approached her former house.
An unidentified member of the Amsterdam Jewish community reported hearing the conductor of Line 17 say on Monday as the tram neared the Anne Frank House, “The Jews have to make a living somehow,” Ronnie Eisenman, chair of the Jewish Community of Amsterdam, told JTA.
He complained on Wednesday about the alleged comments to the GVB municipal transport company.
The conductor had reportedly been answering the driver, who had allegedly asked, “What are all these people doing here? That woman died a long time ago.”
The home of Anne Frank, the teenage Jewish diarist murdered during the Holocaust, drew more than one million visitors last year.
GVB announced on Friday that both employees denied having made the statements. Two days earlier, in a written announcement, GVB distanced itself from anti-Semitic statements and said the company would research the complaint.
Eisenman said that the witness, a man in his fifties, had said the statements were “very clearly heard on the intercom system.” The witness heard the conversation after the tram doors closed at the Westermark tram stop near the Anne Frank House, Eisenman said.
The witness did not see the driver and the conductor, but knew one was a man and the other a woman.
“The fact that the employees deny that such a conversation ever took place does not add to their version’s credibility,” Eisenman said.
GVB said it would invite the witness to further discuss the details of the incident.