Photoshopped image of Anne Frank posing in bikini published by Harvard student magazine sparks outrage
The Harvard Lampoon apologized on Tuesday for publishing a photoshopped picture of Anne Frank which featured Frank standing and posing in a bikini to show what she would have looked like "if she hadn't died".
The picture was posted along with the caption, "Add this to your list of reasons why the Holocaust sucked." The newspaper's editor released a statement saying, "We realize the extent of offense we have inflicted and understand that we must take responsibility for our actions. We as individuals and we as an organization would like to apologize for our negligence in allowing this piece to be created for and printed in our latest issue. We are sorry for any harm we have caused. Furthermore, we want to both affirm and emphasize that the Lampoon condemns any and all forms of anti-Semitism."
The publication was founded in 1876 and had produced many well-renowned comedians such as Conan O'Brien and 'Saturday Night Live' star Colin Josh. According to the Harvard Crimson, more than 250 students from Harvard signed a petition where they had denounced the Lampoon for the inappropriate image of Holocaust victim Anne Frank.
The Crimson had also reported that the Executive Director of Harvard Hillel Rabbi Jonah C. Steinberg had called the picture "the sexual violation of a child – one who, in life, was subjected to the most hideous of crimes" in an email to the editors at the Lampoon. The Lampoon shared a statement saying, "We realize that our publishing process lacks sufficient editorial oversight, so we are going to restructure our review process for issues to prevent the publication of content like this."
The paper also promised to work along with Harvard's Office of Diversity Education & Support as well as several other advisers who figure out how to improve the organization. The editors added, "We are sorry for publishing this piece and for the harm it has caused, and are grateful to those who have taken the time to communicate their feelings about it with us."
Anne Frank was born in Germany and had fled to the Netherlands along with her family when Adolf Hitler had risen to power. After Germany invaded the Netherlands, Frank's father had them moved to a secret living space where she wrote her now-famous diary. Anne died at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp at the age of 15.
After the war was over, Otto Frank had his daughter's diary published and it went on to become a symbol of hope and resilience getting translated into more than 70 languages.