Skip to main site content.
A picture of Anne Frank lies in front of the memorial stone for her and her sister Margot, at a memorial at the Bergen-Belsen camp where they died. (NIGEL TREBLIN/AFP/Getty Images)

Just … no

Harvard Lampoon apologizes for image of Anne Frank in a bikini

May 16, 2019

The Harvard Lampoon, a venerated satirical publication run by the college’s students, has apologized after it published an image of Anne Frank’s face on the body of a woman wearing a bikini.

“Gone Before Her Time: Virtual Aging Technology Shows Us What Anne Frank Would Have Looked Like if She Hadn’t Died,” read the headline above the image, according to the New York Times. The text below it said: “Add this to your list of reasons the Holocaust sucked.”

The Lampoon was met with swift backlash for its sexualization and trivialization of a 15-year-old Holocaust victim. Rabbi Jonah C. Steinberg, director of Harvard Hillel, a Jewish campus group, told the Times that he contacted the editors of the Lampoon and likened the image to “the obscenity of the Nazis.” A petition signed by 450 people called for individual apologies from the author of the Anne Frank article and the editor of the issue, among others. The petition also demanded a report detailing how the content came to be published and what steps the Lampoon would take to prevent a similar incident from happening again.

The image appeared in the publication on Sunday. On Tuesday, the Lampoon issued an apology. “We realize the extent of offense we have inflicted and understand that we must take responsibility for our actions,” the editors wrote. “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.”

Additionally, the editors promised to restructure the Lampoon’s review process, and to publicize their improvement plans on the publication’s website this summer.

But for some, the apology does not go far enough. Harvard junior Jacob Schwartz told the times that he thinks the Lampoon’s staff should visit a Holocaust museum and speak to survivors of the genocide. “The issue in general,” Schwartz said, “is to use this as education and awareness of the Holocaust.”

Read the full story at the New York Times.


Anne Frank’s family attempted to flee to U.S., new research reveals, but they were thwarted

Woman wrote heartbreaking letter 70 years ago, just before being marched to her death at Auschwitz

Former FBI agent investigating circumstances that led to Anne Frank’s arrest