Anne Frank’s Legacy Trashed with Sexually Explicit Graphic Novel

Robert Spencer at PJ Media pointed to a truly atrocious attempt by leftists to frame conservatives for supposedly trying to censor a graphic novel about Holocaust victim Anne Frank, which appears to be written to suit the twisted leftist vision of LGBT ideology:


Leftists will tell you: patriots are a bunch of book-burning neo-Nazis who are busy even now trying to control what people think by taking books out of the hands of our young people who are thirsting for knowledge. And so the headline of the Wednesday report from Tampa Bay’s WFLA was downright ominous: “Florida school district removes book about Anne Frank from libraries.” Heavens to betsy! Even Anne Frank! Do these right-wingers want another Holocaust? Will they stop at nothing? But the truth, as is usually the case with establishment media reports, was quite a different matter.

WFLA’s lead paragraph is just as misleading as its headline: “A book about Anne Frank was removed from a Florida school library after a new policy was approved.” What was removed was not her famous diary, but a graphic novel entitled Anne Frank’s Diary: The Graphic Adaptation. In this case, “graphic” is used in both senses of the word.

“In one graphic scene in the book,” WFLA informs us, “Frank asks a friend to expose themselves to one another.” And in another, “Frank walks along nude statues that are sexually explicit.” The book also portrays Anne Frank as a budding lesbian; the caption on the page where she walks among the nude statues is: “I must admit, every time I see a female nude, I go into ecstasy. If only I had a girlfriend!” It was this marginally pornographic book that “was removed from school libraries in Indian River County” after complaints from a group of parents.

The parents’ group in question, Moms For Liberty, of course has no problem with the real Anne Frank book. Jennifer Pippin of Moms For Liberty explained, “We think true history absolutely needs to be taught, the Holocaust, the Anne Frank diary.” And Dr. Kyra Schafte of the Indian River County school district pointed out that the real Diary of Anne Frank is still available in school libraries there. Cristen Maddux, a spokesperson for the district, said that the graphic novel, on the other hand, was “not age appropriate.” She added: “That’s not the actual diary of Anne Frank. It’s a fictional novel that has some inappropriate content in it.” It was removed, she said, “due to minimization of the Holocaust.” Echoing Schafte, Maddux concluded, “Library spaces in the district currently have factual accounts of The Diary of Anne Frank.”


From what I know of the writer behind this GN, Ari Folman, he’s a leftist who once produced an animated “documentary” titled Waltz With Bashir about the 1982 Lebanon war, and through it, told exactly the kind of angle the far-left would want to hear, including the leftist NY Times:


Ari Folman has brilliant blue eyes in a weathered face: this is the face you see in “Waltz with Bashir,” his animated feature documentary. The Israeli filmmaker, even at 45, looks like a man who could stop bullets. But he could not. The story he tells and the cinematic style he tells it in emerge from the hell of war: in 1982 the Israeli incursion into Lebanon lead to the massacre of Palestinian refugees at the Sabra and Shatila camps. The Israeli troops stood by and let the Christian Phalangist militia kill off the Palestinians in the camps. The film that Folman made is about this trauma. It is the story of a generation, the early ’80s teenage Israelis who left their rock ‘n’ roll dance halls, roared off to war without a pang, and then resumed their lives.


So here, they’re taking a one-sided position and narrative that was hostile to Christians, and made it look like they were the aggressors, not the Islamofascists of the Hezbollah who persecuted Christian inhabitants of the now largely devastated country:


Hezbollah (which means “Party of God” in Arabic) is a terrorist organization based in Lebanon. This Shiite Muslim group — which is backed by Iran and Syria — advocates the destruction of Israel as a primary goal. Its first manifesto, released in 1985, called for the establishment of an Islamic Republic in Lebanon and stated the following with respect to the Jewish state: “Our struggle will end only when this entity [Israel] is obliterated.” […]

The group emerged during the Lebanese Civil War, after Israel invaded Lebanon in 1982. Here’s a brief history of what happened: During the 1970s, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) carried out hundreds of attacks into Israel from Lebanon. Meanwhile, the new wave of Palestinian fighters who were recruited to Lebanon by the PLO upset the balance between Muslims and Christians in the country; this led to a civil war there in 1975.

Lebanese Christians looked to Israel for support in confronting the PLO’s growing presence and, ultimately, hoped to drive them out of the country. Israel, hoping to stop the terrorist attacks coming from the PLO, began backing the Christians in the Lebanese civil war.

In 1982, Israel, under the leadership of Prime Minister Menachem Begin, invaded Lebanon, allying with the Christians against the Syrian-backed PLO. This began the 1982 Lebanon War, also known as the First Lebanon War or “Shalom HaGalil” (“Peace for the Galilee”) in Israel.


It’s no surprise the NYT would blur this history, and Folman regrettably provided them with exactly the kind of cunning liberal anti-war voice they wanted to hear, which is equally reprehensible. Today, of course, the war in Lebanon was sadly lost since, and now we’ve still got considerable problems with the barbarism caused by the Hezbollah, and all the while, men like Folman couldn’t care less what happens to what’s left of their Christian populace, which such leftists view as expendable compared to the Religion of Peace by contrast.


And then, Folman has the gall to produce something which sadly seems motivated by PC mentality, telling exactly what liberals would want to hear, in a very gross manner. Seriously, that’s appalling.

Now, if it matters, I also found this JTA article on Israel National News about the topic, which states:


The graphic novel adaptation of the diary was released in 2018 with the full authorization of the Anne Frank Fonds. Adapted by Israeli filmmaker Ari Folman and illustrator David Polonsky and intended for young readers, the book compresses Frank’s actual diary entries into a condensed version of her true story. While it does contain some invented dialogue and surrealist scenes, reproductions of Frank’s actual diary in the book hew to her exact words.

The graphic novel has attracted some scrutiny for reproducing passages of Frank’s diary that had been edited out of its original Dutch publication in 1947. (The diary was first published in English in 1952.)

Those passages relate Frank’s latent feelings of attractiveness toward another girl and her description of her own genitalia. Anne’s father Otto Frank restored the former passage for the book’s 1952 English edition, while the latter was not restored to the diary until the 1980s. Another Florida parent in a different school district has told JTA they filed a request to remove the graphic adaptation because of objections to these passages.


Whether or not this is accurate, and Frank did develop lesbian attraction, the problem is that, when somebody like Folman produces the kind of material they admit is surreal and perverse, written in terms that would suit a leftist agenda as practiced today, that’s why the whole GN comes off as more of an embarrassment. Also note how the JTA doesn’t question whether the surreal ingredients are inappropriate given the real life subject material it’s allegedly based on, and whether it comes off more as crude and vulgar than appropriate for children. I looked at some of the comments available so far on the article in their OpenWeb program, and people say, for example:


Schools have been pushing soft porn and “free love” on high school kids since the late ’60s. I had genitalia when I was a young girl too, but it was not something that was discussed in public. There are such things as respect and discretion.


And then:


In deed, I would think that Ann Frank would be utterly mortified to know such passages were made public. Just because she wrote it down, doesn’t mean she meant the world at large to read it. Its a loss of dignity for someone who had everything else taken away.


And also:


I assume that she would not have wanted any of it made public. A young girl’s diary is something very personal and private. The way Folman and Polonsky made use of it is unforgivable.


From what’s been explained about it by better sources, it does sound pretty forced, and that’s the problem. A writer at the American Thinker, who’s a member of Moms for Liberty, made some vital points what’s really going on, and why this GN is ends up disrespecting Frank’s memory:


At my blog, I’ve written about the way in which the left is coopting Anne Frank for its own ends. This post sums up what the left has been doing to Anne Frank’s legacy, which is to erase her Jewishness and attack Israel. (Had Anne Frank and her family made it to British-mandate Palestine, the only true refuge in the world for Jews, they would have survived WWII.) The latest use to which leftists have put Anne Frank is to place her in the service of the gay pride movement. Thus, in Anne Frank’s Diary: The Graphic Adaptation, some illustrations focus on Anne’s nascent sexuality, providing truly graphic images of Anne viewing sexually explicit nude statutes or focusing on her appreciation for the nude female body. These concepts were in Anne’s unexpurgated diary, but they were also the ruminations of a precocious young woman from a European progressive household (by the standards of the day), who clearly wrote her diary with an eye to future publication and was experimenting with ideas. […]

Moms For Liberty (a group to which I belong in South Carolina) wasn’t protesting Anne Frank or her diary. The organization and its members were protesting the graphic novelization of the diary—that is, a cherry-picked rendition that used some of Anne’s words and provided illustrations from the imaginations of Ari Folman and David Polonsky. Indeed, when you go to the Amazon page for the bookAnne Frank is designated, not as the book’s author, but as a “Contributor.”

This is a comic book, not Anne Frank’s diary—and Haaretz has acknowledged that it’s “edgy.” […]


I recall that Folman – and maybe Polonsky too – also did an animated film 2 years back titled, “Where is Anne Frank“, which appears to have fishy content, as this Movie Marker review signals:


There are concerns about whether the combination of animation and magic realism is the most suitable medium to convey the emotional turmoil of a historical figure. Through heart-to-hearts with Kitty, Anne pours her heart about her frustration with the war, not to mention the horror experienced by Jews. Amid her growing annoyance, she paints an idealist picture of her life where boys are infatuated with her and screen legends such as Clark Gable lead a charge against the Nazis. There are times Frank comes across as brattish, but her annoyance highlights a lack of fear in her voice, so her trepidation occasionally feels unjustified. It is possible that she is hiding her fears from Kitty to convey a simpler, idealistic world full of imagination and colour, which further supports the film’s fantastical narrative around an imaginary figure but subsequently steers the limelight away from Frank’s legacy.

In fact, Where is Anne Frank does not provide enough context about Frank’s significance. Throughout the film, Kitty sees landmarks, streets and museums, and even a statue named and dedicated to Frank, but the film doesn’t exactly say why she is famous. In Kitty’s eyes, she doesn’t see a famous figure; all she sees is her friend and her only link to the world, so upon watching a play about Anne, she is understandably protective of her friend’s integrity and especially her diary. Folman tries to address this through Kitty’s growing involvement with illegal immigrants, as she sees that their struggles echo those experienced by Anne. However, this eventually caves into uninspiring clichés, not to mention a half-baked conclusion.


What’s this? Did Folman exploit the material for a modern day allusion to illegal immigration, which is not the same as persecuted refugees? Will it turn out he also condones Islamofascists flooding Europe at the expense of all innocents, and ignores, deliberately or otherwise, Islam’s connections with National Socialists during WW2? According to this page, the film was done in partnership with UNESCO, a division of a global outfit that’s hugely anti-Israeli, and that’s telling quite a bit too. Also, is “magic realism” suitable for this kind of product? Hardly. And to think Folman would also pander to LGBT ideology in the GN he co-authored with Polonsky? There have, regrettably, been all sorts of such movements that have tried to hijack and appropriate other people’s tragedies to suit their own warped beliefs and agendas, and it’s done far more harm than good. It’s hugely disappointing.

In the end, what’s really grating about Folman’s projects is that he sounds like the kind of person who’s overly obsessed with Frank, to the point he’d run the gauntlet of desecrating her memory for the sake of pandering to leftist ideologues. And it goes without saying men like him never seem to care about the plight of Jews in Islamic-led countries in the past. And if such leftists are going to be so selective about what issues they take up, is it any wonder they’re unsuited to deal with the topics they already are?


Originally published here.

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Avi Green

Avi Green was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. He enjoyed reading comics when he was young, the first being Fantastic Four. He maintains a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy of facts. He considers himself a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. Follow him on his blog at Four Color Media Monitor or on Twitter at @avigreen1