Teenage heartthrob and recent controversy magnet Justin Bieber has again left the internet slack-jawed, this time over comments left at the Anne Frank House.
The Canadian pop star used part of his downtime from touring the cities of Europe to visit the Amsterdam hiding place of the young Holocaust victim, which has since been turned into a museum.
Alas, in comments left in the Anne Frank House guest book, he opened himself up to ridicule and online anger.
“Truly inspiring to be able to come here,” he offered. So far, so acceptable. Then came the hand-slap-forehead moment: “Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a belieber.”
Referring to the young diarist, whose documenting of life under the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands made her a poignant symbol of the suffering of Jews during the second world war, as a “great girl” was in many minds glib to say the least. Frank died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in March 1945 at 15 after her family’s hiding place was uncovered by the SS.
But it is the suggestion that had she been alive at the same time as the Canadian singer, she would have devoted herself to his music – fans of the pop star are commonly referred to as Beliebers – that had most online commentators venting their anger.
“She would’ve been a WHAT? That little idiot is way to [sic] full of himself. She’s an important historical figure so show some respect,” read a typical post left on the Anne Frank House’s Facebook page, which first reported the guest book comments.
It isn’t the first bit of negative publicity that the 19-year-old has attracted during his stint in Europe. To date, the tour has been hit by incidents of Bieber angrily confronting photographers in London, having his monkey seized by officials in Germany, concerts cancelled in Portugal and school officials in Norway rescheduling exams to avoid clashes with his shows.
[Justin Bieber via Shutterstock]