I’m just now finding out Anne Frank was bi??? OMG
Yeah okay, those edits were made by her dad, a cishet person – and also her dad, a Holocaust survivor, who would have been brutally aware that when the diary was first published in freakin’ 1947, had he included anything which people could use to demonize his daughter or tar her as some kind of “pervert”, it would prevent the message he was trying to send about the horrors of the Holocaust and the heroism of his daughter from being properly understood and accepted the way he hoped.
That isn’t fair. It isn’t just. But it is reality. If Otto Frank had let this be included in the published version, there’s a large chance the homophobic backlash would have prevented the book from reaching the audience it did and spreading the message it needed to. It was NINETEEN. FORTY. SEVEN. The Holocaust had ended TWO YEARS AGO. The acceptance of LGBT identities was basically nonexistent. Otto Frank made a decision based on the time and place he was living in, about what the world at that time was and wasn’t ready to accept.
Let me say this as bluntly as I can – I am a bisexual Jewish girl and I would have made the same decision Otto Frank did. Making sure Anne Frank was unambiguously seen as sympathic and heroic was more important. Making sure people weren’t sidetracked from the main issue of the Holocaust was more important. He shouldn’t have had to make that decision, without doubt. Anne Frank’s sexuality (however she would have identified in modern terms) shouldn’t be considered relevant to her status as a hero or a sympathetic victim. But in 1947, it undoubtedly would have been.
Otto Frank survived Auschwitz and lost his entire family (a wife and two teenage daughters) to the horrors of the Holocaust. He hoped that publishing his daughter’s diary would spread awareness and sympathy for the victims of the Holocaust. If he had to make sacrifices to do that – well frankly, so fucking be it. I don’t know who alive today has the right to judge him.
Let’s also look at this thread from a queer Jewish person who brings up the fact that ANNE FRANK EDITED HER DIARY HERSELF
PLEASE do not forget that the gay men who survived being put into concentration camps by the Nazis WERE NOT FREED BY THE ALLIED FORCES. They were deemed rightfully convicted criminals and moved to prisons. This was not the battle Otto Frank was fighting and judging him as if he should have been fighting all the battles at once is not fair or realistic.
It’s Anne Frank’s 90th birthday today. Also the 3rd anniversary of the Pulse shooting and almost certainly the anniversary of multiple horrible things I don’t know about but which happened. I guess it’s a good day (as are most days) to remember her famous quote: “In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.”