LOS ANGELES – Teen pop star Justin Bieber is taking heat on social
media after the Anne Frank House reported he visited the Amsterdam museum and
wrote in the guest book he hoped the young Holocaust victim would have been a
“belieber,” the popular term for his fans.
A post on Saturday on the
Facebook page of the museum said Bieber had visited the previous night and
stayed over an hour, along with a group of friends and guards as fans waited
outside to “see a glimpse of him.”
“In our guestbook he wrote: ‘Truly
inspiring to be able to come here.
Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she
would have been a belieber,’” the museum said in the Facebook
Regarding that last sentence in the guest book, a large share of
the hundreds of commentators on the museum’s Facebook post reacted negatively to
Bieber’s choice of words.
“Anne Frank a belieber? That is by far one of
the most self-serving things I’ve ever read, like ever,” Facebook user Tania
Saez Pinto wrote.
Media commentators also joined in the
Scott Simon, host of US-based National Public Radio, said on
Twitter, “Anne would be wise enough to just laugh.”
Frank, who died at
age 15 at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945, is one of the best-known
and celebrated Jewish victims of the Holocaust.
Readers around the world
have read her diary, which was first published in 1947 and details the
deprivations and personal triumphs she and her family experienced in hiding
during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands.
A representative for
Bieber did not return calls or an email on Sunday regarding the controversy over
his comment in the guest book.
Some commentators on social media sites
commended Bieber for caring enough about Anne Frank’s story to visit the
Amsterdam museum, which is built into the house where she and her family hid
before their arrest.
The museum itself did not criticize Bieber in its
post about his visit, and even made mention of his Saturday night concert in
Arnhem, the Netherlands.
Bieber, a Canadian-born sensation whose hit
songs include “Baby” and “U Smile,” is on tour in Europe.