short lease: after this commercial break

The industry of memory. A industry setting boundaries on how we remember and the nature of interpretation. Ultimately, you can’t really portray real life tragedy. Even the original experiences of the holocaust victims, those closest to near death experiences are unable to extricate memory from the accompanying trauma and other mediating factors. Its more about a need for a symbol to mourn for us, an object of disavowal of it being better her and the ever present “other” than us. The holocaust and Anne Frank as symbol, is about everything: ethics, morals, politics, aesthetics, and so on. Everything, that is, except religion, the factor that made the final solution inevitable. I suppose Anne Frank is a way of getting a taste of the dark, dark light, without really walking into it. Maybe as Elie Wiesel said, god is terrible and all powerful; in that case why does he keep believing in god?

Jew for a day ( see link at end): …For embarrassment (or should it be revulsion), … has posted for an Amsterdam garret apartment where “one can live like Anne Frank”(*) (What happens to the tenant when the lease is up?). This type of branding, like the trend in European “Jewish style” cafes (which Ruth has written about) that stereotype Jews (as Africans, American Indians, and others are also still stereotyped world in advertising worldwide) is mostly disgusting and sometimes dangerous.

Its one thing when Gene Wilder plays a rabbi and dons payes in The Frisco Kid – a funny film that actually is both an affirmation of Judaism and a historic corrective – since there were plenty of Jews who helped shape the American West. And the case can be made for Barbara Streisand dressing up as Yentl. But it is quite another thing when an Ukrainian café owner encourages customers to dress up as Hasids to laugh and eat and drink on the very site the Lviv’s destroyed Beth Midrash, in the shadow of the ruined Golden Rose Synagogue, whose worshipers were rounded up an murdered. No matter what one thinks of the strictures of the Hasidim, the place of their death is no place for caricature. There is no one to answer back….

Read More: ---Jackie had ‘hidden’ Anne’s doll and searched high and low to find her so that she could be photographed for the article. Her husband was searching in a cubby hole under the stairs for some paint and found two bubble-wrapped small parcels. Opening them up he found a black rag doll and the second was Anne’s doll. Above them was a paint brush tin full of turps (turpentine) with dirty brushes in it. The tin had tipped over and the turps and dirty paint had spilled and dried on the bubble wrap and tissue. Fortunately, the dolls were not harmed, except for Anne’s dolls’ hair which had been glued on.---

…Commercializing Holocaust suffering (or stoicism or heroism) – through ignorance or malice cannot be condoned. Even when done in way that is meant to celebrate the victim (Ann Frank), such exploitation actually belittles her. Maybe the apartment owner figured if Broadway, Hollywood and publishers around the world could make money selling their version of Anne Frank “why not me, too.” After all, the Ann Frank House is a big Amsterdam tourist destination. Why shouldn’t the neighbors cash in? Read More:

Read More: ---Dogar, Sharon. Annexed. Everyone has heard about Anne Frank, and she tells her version of the events that took place while she was hidden in the famous attic, but how close to the truth are her observations? Dogar's forward explaining how truth can vary is very illuminating, and the story of the time in hiding, interspersed with a speculative account of what befell Peter after he was found and sent to a concentration camp.--

In the end, the Shoah is proverbially “stiff necked” and is resourceful in finding ways to escape from the reality of daily gravity we have subjected it to, entering new realms not inherent in the nature of known ideologies, a world unreal and in the uncharted waters of our current belief systems.


In the 1970s and 80s there were attacks by neo-Nazis who doubted the authenticity of the diary, unfounded accusations of forgery which were quickly refuted. But a feeling of the vulnerability of the myth came up: there were protests against the investigation that was carried out and even inquiries in parliament. It was therefore helpful in this context that the commentated, critical edition of the (almost) unabridged diary was published in 1986. But this edition did not change the fact that primarily Jewish Americans still found fault with what they see as a superficial description. They criticize the “Anne Frank industry” and the established institutions such as the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam or the Anne Frank Fund in Basel as well as the appropriation of Anne Frank by other groups and institutions. A further edition appeared in 2001….

Read Mor


The universalization, but also the later much criticized “commercialization” of Anne Frank began with the theatre adaptation written by the married couple Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett and first performed on New York’s Broadway in 1955. There were obvious changes in the wording and thus in the meaning, abridgements and even additions of new passages. It was not the person of Anne Frank who stood in the foreground, but rather a supposed message: “Despite everything I still believe in the goodness in people.”

Shortly before the first film adaptation was released in 1959, “Life” magazine devoted, in August 1958, a title story to Anne Frank’s diaries and life story: the dream of her youth, that her life might one day lead her to Hollywood, was thus – irony of fate – just about to be fulfilled. Read More:

Read More: ---The legend of the Golden Rose, frescoes drawn by Bruno Schulz, and Klezmer music – these are just a few of the curiosities awaiting you at this tavern. There is a cosy terrace in, perhaps, the quietest area of Lviv. Here, you can try such specialties as gefilte fish, hummus, matza flatbread, and many other mouth-watering delicacies of Jewish cuisine. There are no prices on the menu, so when you are ready to leave, you will just have to start haggling over the price with your waiter. ---


And so a young Ukrainian entrepreneur sensed an opportunity. He opened Under the Golden Rose, a theme restaurant that he says honors the city’s Jewish past. It’s a place where diners are given hats with peyes attached, nibble on matzoh, and are encouraged to haggle over food prices—and so few of Lviv’s remaining Jews see it that way. Read More:


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