The Anne Frank foundation criticized an “escape room” game which included an area designed to look like the Amsterdam World War II hiding space of the famous young Jewish writer, after which it is named.
“It shows very little empathy for survivors of the Shoah to use the annex as a backdrop for an escape room,” the Anne Frank foundation said on Friday, according to AP, using a Hebrew word for the Holocaust.
The escape room made light of the plight of the Frank family, turning their hiding “into an exciting game” and implying that not getting caught by the Nazis was based on intelligence, which directly conflicted with historical reality, the foundation added.
Thijs Verberne, the organizer of the escape room, which is located in the south of the Netherlands, in the town of Valkenswaard, defended the set-up.
The game was intended to be “an educational experience,” the organizer said, but some of the wording surrounding it would be changed, according to the Independent.
Escape rooms are part of a game in which and participants have to use various clues in order to escape a locked room, or series of rooms in a set time limit.
Anne Frank became one of the most famous Holocaust victims after the publication of a diary she wrote while hiding from the Nazis with her family. She died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp at age 15, shortly before British soldiers liberated the camp.
Josefin Dolsten is a news fellow at the Forward. She writes about politics and culture, and edits the Sisterhood blog. She received an MA in Jewish Studies and Comparative Religion from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a BA in Government from Cornell University. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter at @josefindolsten.