Teenage pop star Justin Bieber faced a barrage of derision on Sunday when news broke that he had visited the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam and wrote in the visitors’ book at that he hoped the young Jewish author, who died in the Holocaust at 15, would have been a fan had she survived World War II.
“Truly inspiring to be able to come here,” Bieber, 19, wrote on Friday after touring the iconic building where Frank and six others spent two years hiding out from the Nazis. “Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a Belieber.”
“Belieber,” a portmanteau of the words “Bieber” and “believer,” is the slang term for the legion of fanatical fans of Bieber, whose YouTube videos made him an overnight pop sensation among pubescent girls when he was 15.
Bieber visited the building along with a few friends and some guards, the Anne Frank House said on its Facebook page on Saturday, posting a black and white picture of Bieber, and noting that the young crooner “stayed more than an hour in the museum.”
Commenters on Facebook and Twitter were quick to react to Bieber’s irreverant remarks.
“She would’ve been a WHAT?” Kevin García León wrote in a comment on the Anne Frank House’s post. “That little idiot is way too full of himself. She’s an important historical figure so show some respect.”
“Glad he went, but, the last sentence is VERY self serving. He missed the lessons of Anne totally,” Anastasia Finnigan-De Graeve added.
Frank hid with her parents, sister and four others in the building from 1942-1944 until the group was betrayed, arrested and sent to a concentration camp where they all perished, except for Anne’s father, Otto. During her time in hiding, Frank, a talented writer, kept a diary that was later found and published, becoming, like its author, one of the most iconic symbols of the Holocaust.