Why Does The Anne Frank Center Keep Changing Its Story?

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer was rightly castigated over his woeful comments a few days ago that Adolf Hitler “didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons” against his own people. And while I highly doubt the man is antisemitic, he is clearly ignorant to a scary extent, especially given his role as White House Press Secretary.

Among the reactions, Yad Vashem has invited him to visit its website and learn about the Holocaust, while Steven Goldstein, Executive Director of the Anne Frank Center, was less forgiving, calling for him to be fired.

On Passover no less, Sean Spicer has engaged in Holocaust denial, the most offensive form of fake news imaginable, by denying Hitler gassed millions of Jews to death. Spicer’s statement is the most evil slur upon a group of people we have ever heard from a White House press secretary,” he wrote in a Facebook post. “Sean Spicer now lacks the integrity to serve as White House press secretary, and President Trump must fire him at once.

On twitter, the Anne Frank Center sounded more like an angry man than respectable organization, even using the dreaded Caps Lock.


In another interview, Goldstein was just as brutal.

Spicer apologized again Wednesday morning at the Newseum: “I let the president down. … This was mine to own, mine to apologize for. Mine to ask forgiveness for.” He called his comments “inexcusable and reprehensible.”

But the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, an organization named after the young Holocaust victim, isn’t buying it.

Steven Goldstein, a longtime critic of President Trump and executive director of the center, said a sincere apology should have happened sooner — not hours later after an avalanche of criticism had dominated social media.

“Here’s why the apology holds no consequences. It took Sean Spicer three attempts yesterday to get his apology right. Three separate attempts,” Goldstein said. “That’s the problem with this administration. It takes a public outcry to get the Trump administration, including Spicer, to do the right thing and apologize.”

“It’s pathetic,” he added. “When you tell me that Sean Spicer apologized, I’d say, ‘Why does it take so many iterations for him to get it right?’ ”

The money quote: Steven Goldstein, a longtime critic of President Trump.

For instance, in February they called Donald Trump an antisemite, even after Trump called anti-Jewish attacks “horrible”, “painful” and “very sad.”

The Anne Frank Center has hit back at Donald Trump in an ongoing row over anti-Semitism, accusing the US President of being a Holocaust denier.

Steven Goldstein, the civil rights organisation’s Executive Director, said the Republican “quacks, walks and talks like an anti-Semite. That makes him an anti-Semite”.

It came after a speech by Mr Trump on the topic of hate crime was dismissed by the Anne Frank Center as “pathetic”.

“It’s remarkable”, Mr Goldstein told MSNBC. “And what’s more remarkable about Donald Trump’s appearance… was his complete tin ear to the perception, that is accurate, that he is anti-Semitic.”

“There Donald Trump was this morning and he expected, like Moses, the waters to part because he said anti-Semitism was bad.”

The Center had earlier issued a statement criticising Donald Trump’s remarks, in which he called anti-Jewish attacks “horrible”, “painful” and “very sad”.

In the statement, Mr Goldstein called the Republican’s comments “a pathetic asterisk of condescension after weeks in which he and his staff have committed grotesque acts and omissions reflecting Antisemitism”

Something feels really off about an organization that seems so partisan, yet takes it upon themselves to speak for Jews, all while invoking the horrors of the Holocaust.

Reader Mirabelle, who felt the same way, looked into the Anne Frank Center, and found some things that did not add up.

The Center’s Wikipedia page contains the claim that Anne Frank’s father Otto founded the center in 1959.

Otto Frank, Anne’s father, founded the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect in the United States in 1959.[1] Other Anne Frank organizations include the museum, Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, which opened in 1960; and the charitable foundation founded by Otto Frank in 1963, the Anne Frank Fonds in Basel, Switzerland.

The source of this claim is cited as the Center’s website, which no longer makes it. But it used to, as recently as January this year.

In 1959, Otto Frank, Anne’s father, founded our organization as the Anne Frank Foundation, the American partner of the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam and the Anne Frank Fonds in Basel.

Having Otto Frank as the founder gives the Center credibility and almost moral authority to invoke the horrors of the Holocaust in condemning antisemitism. So why did they remove this factoid?

From Otto Frank’s biography:

Frank remarried, to fellow Jewish survivor Elfriede (Fritzi) Markovits, in 1953. The couple moved to Switzerland, where they would live out the remainder of their years together. Frank died in Basel, Switzerland, on August 19, 1980.

So Otto lived in Switzerland in 1959, when he supposedly founded the Anne Frank Foundation in the United States, as the American partner of the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam and the Anne Frank Fonds in Basel.

Incidentally, the Anne Frank Fonds in Basel was founded in 1963, four years later!

And the plot thickens.

In the 2013 version of the Center’s website, is this claim:

Founded in 1977 by Anne’s father Otto, The Anne Frank Center USA, a partner of the Anne Frank House…

So in this earlier version of the website, 1977 is the year 88-year-old Otto Frank supposedly founded the Center, not 1959. And it was called the Anne Frank Center USA, not the Anne Frank Foundation. Furthermore, no ties to Anne Frank Fonds is claimed here.

Something really does not seem kosher with all of these inconsistencies.

Which brings me to the following questions I have for the Anne Frank Center:

Did Otto Frank really found your organization?

If so:

  • Why did you remove that information from your site?
  • When did Otto Frank found it?
  • What was it called?

And if not, why did you lie about it?


David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media

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