For $25 plus shipping, several online stores offered a Anne Frank costume for little girls this week. "Your daughter can become a World War II heroine," she promised the description, which included the image of a girl in a navy blue dress, a green Beret, black moccasins and a small brown purse hanging on her shoulder. Numerous activist organizations have criticized the disguise, forcing their withdrawal at some outlets like Walmart, but others like Amazon maintain it.
Those responsible for HalloweenCostumes.com, one of the portals that has eliminated the sale of the outfit, apologized for the "offense" and defended that it was never intended to cause harm. But it's hard to think they ignored who Frank was and the context around him when they decided it was appropriate to sell preadolescent girls.
Frank, a German-Jewish teenager, is known for her shocking diary about the two years she spent hiding with her family in Amsterdam during the Second World War for Nazi persecution. His last contribution to the story, translated to more than 60 languages, was at the age of 15, at the beginning of August 1944, when a commando of the Nazi troops arrested them and sent to Auschwitz, one of Hitler's most lethal concentration camps. The whole family, along with hundreds of thousands of Jews, died.
The Anti-Defamation League, an international activist organization for the defense of the Jewish community, strongly rejected the sale of the disguise. "We learn from the life and death of Anne Frank to honor her and to prevent atrocities in the future." "We didn't exploit it," he condemned on Twitter. "There are more appropriate ways to commemorate Anne Frank's legacy than through a Halloween costume, which is offensive and trivializes their suffering as well as that of millions of people during the Holocaust," said Facebook spokesman for the Anne Frank Center for Respect Mutual.
However, other online selling companies Amazon decided not to interrupt the sale of the disguise, which they describe as the clothing of an "evacuated girl of the Second World War".
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