Blowup at Harvard Over Sexualized Image of Anne Frank

Magazine apologizes after posting her face on bikini-clad body
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 15, 2019 9:55 AM CDT
Updated May 15, 2019 11:23 AM CDT
Harvard Mag Sorry for Sexualizing Anne Frank
A journalist takes the audio tour of the renovated Anne Frank House museum in Amsterdam, Netherlands, on Nov. 21, 2018.   (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

The Harvard Lampoon is apologizing after pasting Anne Frank's head on the body of a bikini-clad woman. "Add this to your list of reasons the Holocaust sucked," read the caption below the image, reports NBC News. The headline: "Gone Before Her Time: Virtual Aging Technology Shows Us What Anne Frank Would Have Looked Like if She Hadn't Died." The backlash was swift, considering Frank's death came in a concentration camp at age 15. That latest:

  • More than 250 Harvard students signed a petition denouncing the undergraduate humor magazine after the issue was circulated over the weekend, per the Harvard Crimson.
  • "They're using humor as an excuse to trivialize the Holocaust, and it's deeply offensive," a rep for the Anti-Defamation League in New England tells the Boston Globe. "They crossed the line from humor into anti-Semitism."

  • The executive director of Harvard's center of Jewish student life even accused the magazine of carrying forth "the obscenity of the Nazis," per the Globe. The imagery "goes far beyond the distastefulness and provocativeness you obviously intend. It is the sexual violation of a child," Rabbi Jonah C. Steinberg wrote in an email to the editors.
  • Those editors apologized Tuesday. "We realize the extent of offense we have inflicted" and "would like to apologize for our negligence in allowing this piece to be created," their statement reads. The editors also admitted "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 Washington Post reports that outraged Harvard sophomore Jenny Baker posted the image and her objections to it on Facebook, only to see the post removed multiple times because it "violated community standards." So she put it all in a Google Doc instead, where she points out it's never OK to make Holocaust jokes or sexualize young girls. "Sexualizing ANNE FRANK and saying it is a shame she was ruthlessly murdered because of her religion because she would have been hot? So unbelievably not okay."
  • As for the Lampoon, the Post reports it was founded in 1876 and appears on the resume of many comedy writers (it calls out Conan O'Brien specifically).
(The New York Times recently apologized for an anti-Semitic cartoon.)

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