I’ve just visited the hiding place of some troublesome refugees who should make Donald Trump very angry. It’s not the first time I’ve called at the little house on the old canal, but you only have to glance at the family’s papers to see how they fall under Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric. They fled a dangerous country full of extremists– a nation which threatened its own neighbours – and they sought their first new home for “economic reasons”. Worse still, they even tried to enter the United States. They were turned away – on the grounds that even if they had good reason to flee their persecutors, they didn’t have good enough reason to choose America as their place of refuge.
No, they’re not Syrians or Turkmens or Yazidis or Afghans, although the younger daughter of the family was reading a book about ‘Palestine’ and was very much a member of a persecuted race. She was, of course, Anne Frank, the German Jewish girl who with her family fled the Nazis in 1933 and was given sanctuary in Holland – until Germany invaded the Low Countries in 1940 and she found herself under the rule of her own vicious country all over again. By 1941, her father Otto – realizing that the Nazis had in store for Jews in Holland the very same fate that was already being perpetrated against the Jews of Germany – sought visas to the United States. And the door was slammed in their face.