I'm really angry - no, I'm furious! - to read of a British author's plans to 'sex up' the story of Anne Frank. The Telegraph reports:
A British novelist has angered the family of Anne Frank with a “sexed-up” imagining of her time in hiding from the Nazis.
The teenager documented her experiences during the German occupation of the Netherlands during the Second World War before her death in Bergen Belsen concentration camp aged 15.
Now Sharon Dogar, who specialises in novels for teenagers, has written a book of fictional diaries of Peter van Pels, Anne's close friend who lived in the same building while she was hiding in Amsterdam.
The diaries, which are to be published in the autumn, include graphic accounts of Peter’s desire for Anne and intimate scenes between the two, according to The Sunday Times.
The book has been criticised by Buddy Elias, Anne’s first cousin, who chairs a charity devoted to her memory. The 84-year-old, who lives in Switzerland, used to play with his cousin when they were youngsters.
He said he learnt a lot about her and Peter from Anne’s father Otto, who survived the war and had the diaries published in 1947. Otto died in 1980.
Elias has read an advance copy of Annexed, named after the annexe of the office building where the Frank and van Pels families lived in hiding.
“Anne was not the child she is in this book,” he said. “I also do not think that their terrible destiny should be used to invent some fictitious story.”
“From what Otto told me about Peter, he was very shy but in this book he is given a character he did not possess,” he said.
Anne, who wrote her diary from the summer of 1942, when she had just turned 13, until August 1944, died in Belsen of typhus in March 1945 after being transferred there from Auschwitz.
There's more at the link.
I think this is absolutely sickening! Anne Frank is not just another historical figure. She's become an icon of the Holocaust, and rightly so. To treat her as someone to be exploited for the sake of making money off teenagers who want everything 'sexed up' . . . well, I'd call it sacrilege, except that Anne Frank herself would have been the first to laugh at the thought she was divine!
Patrick, blogging at Popehat, has his own twist on this news.
I’ve always thought that the one thing The Diary of Anne Frank lacks is a handsome romantic lead. Ideally, in Dogar’s reimagining, Peter Van Pels will turn out to be a vampire, a Jewish vampire, born at the time of Christ. In fact, Peter, before his claiming for the children of darkness, will have had had a smoldering love affair with Judas Iscariot 2000 years ago. Long passages in the new diary will tell of Peter’s rapturous love with the doomed Judas, who is misunderstood. In fact, Judas, a handsome, brooding presence looming over all of The Diary of Anne Frank, due to his forbidden love with Mary Magdalene, attempted to buy off Christ’s executioners with thirty pieces of silver. And so, before claiming Anne himself for a life of tragic but ever blossoming immortality, Peter explains to Anne that the entire Holocaust is founded on a lie. The Jews, of whom Peter’s mortal lover Judas was the chief, attempted to save Christ from the wicked Pontius Pilate, and have been persecuted ever since. Especially dark, magnetic, tender yet murderous Jews like Peter Van Pels and his new bride of darkness, Anne Frank, who leave Amsterdam reborn, for Berlin. There, the two lovers brush aside the SS and the Wehrmacht, to seize the mad Adolf Hitler. Before draining every drop of Hitler’s life essence, in the sight of his sultry mistress Eva Braun, the vampires Frank and Van Pels inform him of their immortal lives and loves, and that his entire career has been a mistake. Hitler, drained of the precious blood but denied the vampire’s gift of an immortal unlife of eternal desire, dies in an ecstasy of the blood haze, crying, “Forgive me!” Then the two damned lovers, Van Pels and Frank, escape to a ship bound for Buenos Aires, and then to New York, where they haunt the nightclubs and the dinner parties of the high and the beautiful in an eternal unlife of longing and lust.
That’s exactly what Anne Frank needs.
But I’m not the man to write it. Nor for that matter is Sharon Dogar the woman to write it. Anne Frank has had enough. She was forced into hiding, murdered before her time, and transformed from a human being into a symbol. Now she’s been transformed into a piece of postmodern teen masturbation fantasy.
Again, there's more at the link.
In the old days, notorious offenders against morality might be horsewhipped down the lanes of England in a public display of scorn and contempt. Frankly (you should pardon the pun), I think we should bring back that custom, with Ms. Dogar as the guest of honor!