This past weekend Justin Bieber visited the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam and was aptly and understandably moved by the story and living space of the German Jewish teenager who became the symbolic voice of the 6 million Jews killed in the Holocaust. After visiting the secret upstairs annex where Anne lived in hiding with her family and the van Pels family for two years between 1942 and 1944 until her family was captured (also “Justin Bieber and Anne Frank” is a search string I never thought would ever exist but now, unfortunately, does), Justin Bieber left the following comment in the home’s guest book: “Truly inspiring to be able to come here. Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a belieber.”
Slightly tacky, me-centric comment? Sure. But on one hand, you’ve got to commend Justin Bieber for taking time out of his swag-packed schedule to learn about an important piece of the history of the Jewish, German and Dutch people. “The Diary Of Anne Frank” is, without question, one of the most important pieces of literature of the 20th century. Both the book and Anne Frank’s story transcend religion and time, and he’s raising awareness of both Anne’s life and her story.
The problem is, Justin Bieber didn’t really need to make the connection between this tragic story (albeit one of hope — Anne Frank famously wrote “I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart” and “I don’t want to have lived in vain like most people. I want to be useful or bring enjoyment to all people, even those I’ve never met. I want to go on living even after my death!” — and her enduring mantra of optimistic endurance in the face of suffering have brought faith and comfort to her readers for decades), himself, and his devout fan base. Except he did when he pontificated that Anne herself may have been a fan of his music. You could say Justin Bieber was maybe a little lost in a “me moment.”
Read more about Justin Bieber’s comments at the Anne Frank House after the jump.
Rolling Stone’s Simon Vozick-Levinson told ABC News that Anne Frank was a “regular teenage girl” and a fan of her contemporary pop stars. But it’s not really Justin Bieber’s place to take a tremendous leap of faith and connect the two. You know… except he did.
But let’s cut Biebs some slack. He’s 19. Who wasn’t self-absorbed at 19? (or at 20, or… 29?) He could’ve spent the hour he spent at the Anne Frank House shopping or napping or playing video games or engaging in Amsterdam’s more herbal pursuits or feeding his pet monkey. It’s not like he posthumously baptized her! Instead he learned about a devastating chapter of the world’s genocidal history, and it’s a lesson that will likely stay with him forever. He may indirectly be educating those of his fans who were unfamiliar with Anne Frank’s story. He’s helping promulgate history and literature to younger generations. If you can look past the narcissistic comment, you can’t accuse him of not trying to learn a little on his off day. His only transgression was that he kinda over-related. At least he didn’t take off his shirt at the museum.
And for those of you Beliebers who think Justin should just stick to singing, dancing, and showing off his abs? Don’t worry: It doesn’t look like he’s giving up on that anytime soon:
+ What do you think about Justin Bieber’s comments at the Anne Frank Museum? Were the shirtless selfies too soon? Leave your comments in the comment section below, or tweet them at @MTVBuzzworthy.
Photo credit: Justin Bieber’s Instagram