The Anne Frank House museum in Amsterdam endures as a symbol of lives and opportunities lost in the Nazi Holocaust. Frank’s poignant diary connects across generations.
That point was made once again when Canadian pop star Justin Bieber visited what is now a compelling shrine to ordinary lives caught up in unspeakable horrors. The moment was not lost on the 19-year-old, who wrote in a guestbook: “Truly inspiring to be able to come here. Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a belieber.”
A respectful, innocent recognition that the young girl did not have a chance to enjoy the pleasures and diversions of adolescence, including life as a fan, in her own time. Indeed, a humble wish she might have found him worthy.
Bieber hit exactly the right, gracious note in his comments. Inexplicably the twits and tweets of social media have mocked and condemned him. The reaction has confounded his museum hosts, and others who have read her diary, and know her fondness for movie stars.
A visitor to the museum might find the souvenir shop a bit more disconcerting than Bieber’s gentle acknowledgment of Frank’s short life.
She died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945.