Justin Bieber and Anne Frank. Though they’re a strange couple of names to be put together in a headline, such has been the celebrity news cycle of late. After a controversial guestbook tribute from Bieber to Frank, in which the Canadian pop star suggested that the young Holocaust victim would have been a “Belieber,” Frank’s stepsister, Eva Schloss, has stepped up to confirm that much as true.
A bit more context: Bieber visited the Anne Frank House recently, and wrote “Truly inspiring to be able to come here. Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a Belieber,” in the guest book. This sparked a ridiculous amount of outrage, with many critics arguing that the message was an insensitive attempt at self-promotion, at best.
“This is a place where Anne spent two years hiding in claustrophobic conditions, where she put down her dreams of making the world a better place,” said Gillian Walnes MBE, co-founder of The Anne Frank Trust UK. “Now 70 years later a pop singer is trying to hijack this for his own self-aggrandizement.”
“It says a lot about what his ego is turning into.”
Bieber has had his defenders, among them The Inquisitr‘s own Page Mackinley, who point out that Frank was a pop culture fan in her youth.
Most recently, Frank’s close friend and later stepsister Eva Schloss defended the singer, arguing “She [Frank] probably would have been a fan. Why not?
“He’s a young man and she was a young girl, and she liked film stars and music,” Schloss points out.
Indeed, Frank’s now-famous diary talks about celebrities and film stars of 1944 like Greta Garbo and Ray Milland. “Movie stars are in a terrible disarray and are dying to be straightened out,” Frank wrote.
Recalling her friendship with Anne Frank, Eva said: “We used to play together, skipping and sitting on the steps together by our apartments. Anne was very lively but I was more shy. I was good in sports but she was more intellectually developed, quite interested in clothes and boys.”
Eva’s father and brother died in the camps during the Holocaust, and her own mother married Anne Frank’s father after the war was over.
Frank died of typhus in a Nazi concentration camp in 1945 at the age of 15.
Do you think that Anne Frank would have been a Belieber? Do you think the controversy over Bieber’s museum visit is a bit overblown, or was his guestbook entry disrespectful?