A Rhode Island sports bar apologized on Monday after sharing a meme on Facebook making light of Anne Frank’s death at the hand of the Nazis.
“It’s hotter than an oven out there… and I should know,” read the Atlantic Sports and Bar’s Friday post over a picture of teenage German-Dutch diarist Anne Frank, who was killed by the Nazis in 1945. The post was seeking to make a joke about the heatwave rolling through Rhode Island.
The restaurant came under immediate criticism from social media users, some of whom called for a boycott of the restaurant until it issued an apology.
“Wow a racist pit,” wrote Facebook user Amy Ann on an unrelated post on the restaurant’s page. “Don’t patronize until they apologize.”
The local ABC news affiliate said the restaurant took down the post several hours after publishing it and claimed that the employee behind it was not aware of who Anne Frank was.
Published in 1947, “The Diary of Anne Frank” remains one of the most widely read books on the Holocaust to this day and has been translated to over 70 languages.
Two days after taking it down, the restaurant issued an apology saying that the post was “poorly thought out and we realize that it was incredibly inappropriate and does not reflect our values as members of our community.
“There is no excuse for the sharing of this post, and there is nothing we can do to rectify it, all we can do now is offer our deepest apology to those who were rightfully hurt by our actions. The Atlantic Restaurant prides itself on being a tolerant, inclusive and safe space for all people.”
The restaurant vowed to be more vigilant in vetting posts moving forward and thanked the community for its “outpouring of support, as well as the outpouring of rightful criticism.”
“This will certainly be a teachable moment for our team,” the restaurant added in a statement published by the local ABC affiliate.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the bar’s Facebook page appeared to have been taken down.