Harvard Lampoon Apologizes For Sexualizing Holocaust Victim Anne Frank In Bikini Cartoon

Mary Margaret Olohan | Reporter

The Harvard Lampoon apologized after sexualizing an image of teenage Holocaust victim Anne Frank.

The undergraduate humor publication printed a doctored picture of  the teenage girl who died in a concentration camp after penning the “Diary of the Young Girl,” with the caption “Gone Before Her Time: Virtual Aging Technology Shows Us What Anne Frank Would Have Looked Like if She Hadn’t Died.”

A caption beneath the photo read “Add this to the list of reasons the Holocaust sucked.”

The Harvard Lampoon issued a statement posted on their website saying that they recognize “the extent of offense” they committed with the photo and will take responsibility for their actions. The statement was signed by co- president Nicholas S. Grundlingh,  co-president Jack G. Stovitz and issue editor Liana A. Spiro.

“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,” the editors wrote. “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 Harvard Lampoon Building, at Harvard University, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Jon Bilous, Shutterstock.

The Harvard Lampoon Building, at Harvard University, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Jon Bilous, Shutterstock.

Students began circulating a Facebook petition to “Demand Public Accountability from the Harvard Lampoon,” on Sunday night, gathering over 250 signatures, according to the Harvard Crimson. Executive Director of Harvard Hillel Rabbi Jonah C. Steinberg also reached out to editors at the Harvard Lampoon and told them that the image of Frank was comparable “to the obscenity of the Nazis,” according to the Harvard Crimson.

“It is an image one can imagine Julius Streicher, publisher of Der Stürmer, producing and celebrating,” Steinberg wrote, adding that the image depicted “the sexual violation of a child — one who, in life, was subjected to the most hideous of crimes.”

Frank’s diary, which was hidden from the Nazis, was published after her death by her father in 1947 according to The Washington Post. The diary depicts Frank’s life as a Jewish teenager hiding until her eventual capture, imprisonment in a concentration camp and death at age 15. The book contains many insights into the Holocaust, something that a dwindling amount of Americans even understand as 66 percent of millennials cannot say what the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz was. “What is done cannot be undone, but one can prevent it happening again,” Frank wrote. (RELATED: Way Too Many Americans Don’t Know What Auschwitz Was)

“Although I’m only fourteen, I know quite well what I want,” Frank wrote in “Diary of a Young Girl,” according to The Washington Post. “I know who is right and who is wrong, I have my opinions, my own ideas and principles, and although it may sound pretty mad from an adolescent, I feel more of a person than a child, I feel quite independent of anyone.”

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