Harvard satirical publication apologizes for sexualized Anne Frank bikini photo

May 16, 2019 by Jackson Richman - JNS
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The Harvard Lampoon, Harvard University’s student-run satirical newspaper, has apologized for publishing over the weekend a sexualized photo of Anne Frank in a bikini.

Anne Frank Credit: Collectie Anne Frank Stichting Amsterdam.

“Gone Before Her Time: Virtual Aging Technology Shows Us What Anne Frank Would Have Looked Life if She Hadn’t Died,” stated the text above the edited picture. “Add this to your list of reasons the Holocaust sucked.”

The Harvard Lampoon is garbage,” tweeted Catherine Zhang, a senior at the university.

The outlet’s editors published the following apology on its website:

In the past few days, the Lampoon has heard from many whom we hurt with content from the latest issue of our magazine, specifically a Photoshopped image of Anne Frank. 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 antisemitism.

Moving forward, we will approach the content of our magazine with greater care. 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. In the coming weeks, based on conversations with the Office of Diversity Education & Support, our Graduate Board, advisors, and our peers, we are going to come up with a series of further steps to improve our publication and organization as a whole.

A Harvard spokesperson told The New York Post on Wednesday that the image was “deeply offensive” and insulting to the legacy of Frank, who perished at Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945 at the age of 15.

Her diary is one of the most widely read books related to the Holocaust by young students.

StandWithUs and Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies condemned the photo.

“As the child of Holocaust survivors, I am outraged at this vulgar and antisemitic attempt at humor,” SWU CEO Roz Rothstein told JNS. “There is nothing funny about trivializing the horror my family experienced at the hands of the Nazis. The Harvard Lampoon must follow its apology with concrete actions that ensure something like this never happens again.”

“In no shape or form does the Holocaust or its victims belong in a humor publication,” Avi Benlol, president and CEO of Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told JNS. “This sexualization of a child victim of the Holocaust is outrageous and offensive, and it’s especially shocking that such content could appear in a student-run publication at what is considered one of the top universities in the world. Incidents such as this highlight the desperate need for increased Holocaust education inside schools.”

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