Jewish comedian Jeff Ross defends Netflix roast of Anne Frank
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Jewish comedian Jeff Ross defends Netflix roast of Anne Frank

‘You can’t take back the lives lost, but by making Hitler and the Nazis a joke, I think that’s a victory,’ comic says day before what would have been famed diarist’s 90th birthday

Netflix's Historical Roasts host Jeff Ross wore a yellow armband with a Star of David on it in an episode about Anne Frank, May 27, 2019. (YouTube screenshot)
Netflix's Historical Roasts host Jeff Ross wore a yellow armband with a Star of David on it in an episode about Anne Frank, May 27, 2019. (YouTube screenshot)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Jewish comedian Jeff Ross defended an episode of a new Netflix series that mocked Anne Frank.

Ross drew criticism last month for targeting the teen Holocaust diarist on “Historical Roasts,” where comedians make fun of historical figures.

He defended the choice in an interview with the Daily Beast’s The Last Laugh podcast published Tuesday

“I was channeling something I once heard Mel Brooks say, which is essentially you can’t take back the lives lost, but you can seek some revenge through ridicule,” Ross said. “And by making Hitler and the Nazis a joke, I think that’s a victory. The Jews survive, and not only that, we flourish.”

Comedian Gilbert Gottfried plays Adolf Hitler in a controversial episode of Historical Roasts, a new Netflix comedy series, May 27, 2019. (YouTube screenshot)

The Anne Frank House in Amsterdam had called the show “tasteless satire,” while the Information and Documentation Center on Israel, a Dutch anti-Semitism watchdog, said in a tweet that the comedy was “unwelcome.”

Anne Frank (Wikimedia Commons)

During the podcast, Ross referred to a point made on the show by the Jewish actress who portrayed Frank.

“And as Anne Frank, played eloquently by Rachel Feinstein on the show, she says to Hitler, you know the greatest revenge, Hitler, is the fact that you’re being portrayed by the loudest, most annoying Jew we could find,” he said.

The podcast was released a day ahead of what would have been Anne Frank’s 90th birthday.

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