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Harvard Student Magazine Apologizes For ‘Sexualizing Anne Frank’

A humor magazine published by Harvard University students apologized Tuesday after publishing a Photoshopped image of Anne Frank in a bikini, which was condemned by students and Jewish community leaders.

The Harvard Lampoon’s sexed-up image of the child Holocaust victim ran alongside the captions “Gone Before Her Time: Virtual Aging Technology Shows Us What Anne Frank Would Have Looked Like if She Hadn’t Died….Add this to your list of reasons the Holocaust sucked.”

Harvard Hillel director Rabbi Jonah C. Steinberg wrote in an email to the Lampoon editors that the image was incredibly offensive. “Your depiction of Anne Frank’s face grafted to pinup imagery goes far beyond the distastefulness and provocativeness you obviously intend. It is the sexual violation of a child – one who, in life, was subjected to the most hideous of crimes,” Steinberg wrote, according to the Harvard Crimson. He went on to compare the image to Nazi propaganda cartoons.

Frank died at age 15, probably of typhus, at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1944. Her posthumously-published diary has since been read by millions of people.

Editors of the Lampoon issued an apology on Tuesday. “We realize the extent of offense we have inflicted and understand that we must take responsibility for our actions,” the statement read. ““We as individuals and we as an organization would like to apologize for our negligence in allowing this piece to be created for and printed in our latest issue. We are sorry for any harm we have caused. Furthermore, we want to both affirm and emphasize that the Lampoon condemns any and all forms of anti-Semitism.”

One of the Lampoon’s apologizing co-presidents, Jack Stovitz, once performed a stand-up comedy routine at a high school event about his “level of Jewishness,” according to his high school newspaper.

Contact Aiden Pink at pink@forward.com or on Twitter at @aidenpink.

This story "Harvard Lampoon Apologizes For ‘Sexualizing Anne Frank’" was written by Aiden Pink.

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