Barry Vingerling, 25, must wear his skullcap or yarmulke as an Orthodox Jew
On first day of work at Anne Frank House in Amsterdam he was told he couldn’t
Museum said it might ‘might endanger the neutrality’ of the foundation
He had to apply for formal permission from higher-ups to wear it at work
In the meantime he could only wear a baseball cap with Anne Frank House logo
A Jewish employee at Anne Frank House could not believe his ears when his bosses banned him from wearing a skullcap at work.
Barry Vingerling turned up for work on his first day at the museum in Amsterdam and was told to take off his ‘yarmulke’.
Anne Frank House is a writer’s house and museum dedicated to a famous Jewish teenager who wrote a diary as she hid from the Nazis in World War II.
Barry Vingerling, 25, turned up for work on his first day at the museum in Amsterdam and was told to take off his ‘yarmulke’
The 25-year-old was told wearing the skullcap might endanger the neutrality of the foundation which runs the museum and ‘influence its work combating antisemitism’.
Mr Vingerling did not don a skullcap for his interview but hoped to wear it at work to meet his requirement as an Orthodox Jew to keep his head covered.
The Dutchman was told the brimless cap, also known as a kippah, was banned by the Anne Frank House as employees were not allowed to wear Jewish symbols.
The museum told Mr Vingerling he had to apply for formal permission to wear a yarmulke at the Anne Frank Foundation.
‘I was in stress for many months, but for me this is a matter of principle, a moral case,’ he said.
As a temporary solution the museum said Mr Vingerling could cover his head with a baseball cap with the logo of the Anne Frank House.
The board of the Anne Frank Foundation finally concluded, after more than six months of discussions, that Mr Vingerling could wear his yarmulke.
He said he was happy to hear he could finally wear his skullcap but still did not understand why the Anne Frank Foundation had made an issue out of it for so long.
‘I work in the house of Anne Frank, who had to hide because of her identity. In that same house I should hide my identity?’ he said.
Anne Frank House is a writer’s house and museum dedicated to a famous Jewish teenager who wrote a diary as she hid from the Nazis in World War II
Mr Vingerling was told wearing the skullcap might endanger the neutrality of the foundation which runs the museum and ‘influence its work combating antisemitism’
Anne Frank Foundation managing director Garance Reus-Deelder said the museum did not have a policy on the wearing of religious clothing.
‘We never had an employee before who wanted to wear a yarmulke, headscarf or cross,’ she said.
‘We first wanted to know if a religious expression would interfere with our independent position. The Anne Frank Foundation is an independent organisation without religious ties.’
Ms Reus-Deelder said the Anne Frank Foundation was not only a museum but also an organisation that ran dozens of educational programmes.
‘Those are directed at combatting antisemitism. We did not want that for example a yarmulke would influence that message,’ she said.
The Anne Frank House, where Jewish schoolgirl Anne Frank and her family hid from the Nazis during World War II, stands as a memorial to victims of the holocaust.
The diary in which Frank documented her life in hiding became a posthumous bestseller after she perished in the concentration camp of Bergen Belsen at the age of 15.