National Geographic
Menu

Bieber’s Anne Frank Faux Pas Has Us Wondering: What Would You Write?

Picture of Anne Frank

This photo of 11-year-old Anne Frank, author of the classic “Diary,” was pasted in the young Jewish girl’s journal before her capture by the Nazis. Photograph from Archivio GBB/Contrasto/Redux Pictures.

Teen idol Justin Bieber is making some unfortunate headlines again today after leaving a questionable comment in the guestbook at the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, where the young Jewish girl famously hid from the Nazis during World War II and penned her classic diary.

“Truly inspiring to be able to come here,” Bieber wrote while visiting the museum as part of his current world concert tour. “Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a belieber.”

Since the museum posted Bieber’s message on its Facebook page this weekend, the “belieber” comment has sparked quite the debate among fans of Bieber and those who, well, don’t much care for the pop star.

The museum’s press office has publically stated that they’re not offended by the comment, saying, “He’s 19, it’s a strange life he’s living, it wasn’t very sensible but he didn’t mean bad…” Others, however, are not so forgiving.

Does the comment belittle Anne Frank’s struggle? Or are we being too hard on Bieber? Whether you support his comment or not, Bieber ultimately left his mark in a book where scores of visitors have paid tribute to the Frank family’s tragic story. (See also: Why Justin Bieber Shouldn’t Have a Monkey)

Check out some of the other comments that people have left in the museum’s guestbook in just the last 24 hours:

“A moving and truly remarkable experience.”

“We visited and were overwhelmed by what we saw and heard.”

“Never again!”

“Thanks to the ones who remember in order to change the world to the best.”

“A very touching and memorable review of the war period.”

“I could tell that Anne was a strong, intelligent girl that I would have loved to have as a friend. Very sad and heartful story.”

We’d love to hear your thoughts: What would you write in the guestbook if you went to visit the Anne Frank House? Tell us in the comments below!

Comments

  1. John Kengel
    Florida
    April 23, 2013, 12:36 am

    If war breaks out today Justine wouldn’t have been a belieber to live the next second then a baby girl.

  2. Katherine
    New Zealand
    April 19, 2013, 7:53 am

    I think i wrote I am sorry for all you had suffered and all that you and your family sacrificed along the way. I hope you have now found peace. May your book continue to guide of hope and learning so we may never make the same mistakes again.

    I actually enjoyed seeing the house it took on new element for me that clearly Justin never grasped. He seemed to come out of it thinking that she would have been a fan. I came out of it thinking now i understand what she meant about it feeling claustrophobic in that house. To be in the place where Anne spent two years of their lives trying to stay alive is just incredible. He clearly hadn’t read the book

  3. Ragan
    unknown
    April 17, 2013, 9:55 pm

    i think, Justin is a great person and he deserves respect, he has work just as hard as everyone else in this world maby even harder he is a great person and does great things with his time he is perfect. :) <3elieber

  4. Christine
    Canada
    April 17, 2013, 4:25 pm

    I am not a fan of his music to be honest, but I think he has a lot of positive things to say to young people. he makes a lot of people happy. He is in a position to do good things for people, and he does not squander that opportunity. So, I guess you could call me a supporter.

    I think it’s obvious that what he meant was that he hoped she would have believed in his message to young people.

  5. Jeremy
    April 17, 2013, 9:33 am

    Agreed the comment was immature, but honestly he deserves a lot of credit for choosing to go and learn about the holocaust in his free time. How many other celebrities do that?

  6. Michael Winter
    Durban Kwa Zulu Natal Republic of South Africa
    April 17, 2013, 6:07 am

    Before Justin becomes insensitive he should witness the documentary on Hitlers Final Solution

  7. Miles Lacey
    New Zealand
    April 17, 2013, 5:21 am

    If I did get to visit the Anne Frank House I would be quite blunt and write… absolutely nothing.

    We said “Never Again” after the Holocaust then let the horrors of many other genocides and ethnic cleansing happen in Rwanda, Cambodia, Bosnia-Herzegovina etc. So what else is there to say?

  8. Michael Winter
    Durban Kwa Zulu Natal Republic of South Africa
    April 17, 2013, 5:11 am

    We have a holocaust centre in Durban to remind us of the senseless ideology that was nazism. Before Justin or anyone else writes an

  9. Elle K
    April 17, 2013, 4:37 am

    What I can’t believe is that NatGeo is even mentioning this incident.

  10. Ima Ryma
    April 17, 2013, 4:17 am

    The Diary of Anne Frank made known
    The horrors of the Holocaust,
    In which a teenager had grown,
    Only to live a childhood lost.
    A teen who had no chance to do
    The day to day stuff filled with fun.
    A teen who was forced to live through
    The madness mad adults had done.
    All teens today should keep in mind
    That life is not just rock star show,
    That there is more to humankind
    That teens should seek and come to know.

    We have Justin Bieber to thank
    For young now asking, “Who’s Anne Frank?”

  11. BellsW
    Australia
    April 17, 2013, 4:06 am

    If anyone unknown had of left that remark would anyone have taken any notice or cared?

  12. BellsW
    Australia
    April 17, 2013, 4:02 am

    For goodness sakes. I don’t see any nasty message in that.
    I think he was saying in ” Hopefully she would have been a belieber.” means he hoped she would of been a fan or a friend of his. Its a bit of a play on words – be -bieber = belieber. Why doesn’t somebody just ask him what he meant instead of assuming the worst.

  13. DeEsta Foreman
    Texas
    April 17, 2013, 3:26 am

    Thank you for your strength, wisdom and courage Anne. I would like to have read your thoughts about our world today. A voice that was silenced far too soon.

  14. Elizabeth Murray
    Canada
    April 17, 2013, 3:16 am

    If you read her book Anne Frank likely would have been a “Belieber.”
    She was 15. She liked movie stars and cute boys. She would have loved to go to a crowded stadium and dance and sing to Justin Bieber’s music, had she not been locked up in a warehouse annex with seven other people, hiding from the Nazis.
    Read more from this perspective http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2013/04/15/holocaust_victim_anne_frank_would_have_likely_been_a_justin_bieber_belieber_porter.html

  15. John
    April 16, 2013, 9:58 pm

    Why would anyone with a brain care what he says?

  16. Jessica Mal
    United States
    April 16, 2013, 8:06 pm

    i feel this writing has no place on natgeo.com pop culture is all over every form of media and natgeo is my safeheaven from that nonsense.

  17. J Oziel
    United States
    April 15, 2013, 6:30 pm

    I don’t think Bieber’s remark degraded Anne Frank. It was just another example of this young singer degrading himself with callow, shallow, flip and superficial remarks about a world icon who has come to stand as a symbol of the millions of “Annes” lost in the holocaust and forever unknown to us all. Maybe this is all the deeper this pop singer can go.

  18. Steven Eisenpreis
    United States
    April 15, 2013, 5:51 pm

    The Daily News said it best: “WHAT THE HEIL?!?” How dare the Beibs belittle this great international landmark!