The PointBy Daniel Greenfield

New Play's Final Solution Leaves Anne Frank Judenrein

What the various Anne Frank projects, fake organizations appropriating the name of a murdered Jewish girl, have been doing over the years is nearing its perfect apogee

Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett’s play The Diary of Anne Frank is getting a timely retooling. Director Stan Zimmerman is helming a new version of the play that will change the narrative from the Nazis’ hunting down and oppression of Jewish people to a story about Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents hunting down illegal immigrant

Timely indeed.

The Holocaust is no longer “timely”, but accusing anyone who believes that there ought to be some sort of immigration laws of being a Nazi is most timely indeed. This production accomplishes the final dejudaization of Anne Frank leaving the story truly Judenrein. Much like the Nazis, it recognizes that the only way to get rid of the Jewish Anne Frank… is to eliminate her entirely.

How obscene is the analogy between ICE and the Nazis? Here’s a reminder from Cynthia Ozick from a New Yorker of another century, before it turned into a sinking ballast of anti-Trump rants.

Anne and Margot were dispatched to Bergen-Belsen. Margot was the first to succumb. A survivor recalled that she fell dead to the ground from the wooden slab on which she lay, eaten by lice, and that Anne, heartbroken and skeletal, naked under a bit of rag, died a day or two later.

Exactly like ICE.

If Anne Frank has been made into what we nowadays call an “icon,” it is because of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play derived from the diary—a play that rapidly achieved worldwide popularity, and framed the legend even the newest generation has come to believe in. Adapted by Albert Hackett and Frances Goodrich, a Hollywood husband-and-wife screenwriting team, the theatricalized version opened on Broadway in 1955, ten years after the end of the war, and its portrayal of the “funny, hopeful, happy” Anne continues to reverberate, not only in how the diary is construed but in how the Holocaust itself is understood…

Kermit Bloomgarden surfaced as producer and Garson Kanin as director. Hellman had recommended Bloomgarden; she had also recommended Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett. The Hacketts had a long record of Hollywood hits, from “Father of the Bride” to “It’s a Wonderful Life,” and they had successfully scripted a series of lighthearted musicals…

Where the diary touched on Anne’s consciousness of Jewish fate or faith, they quietly erased the reference or changed its emphasis. Whatever was specific they made generic…

The Zionist aspirations of Margot, Anne’s sister, disappeared. ..

For Levin, the source and first cause of these excisions was Lillian Hellman. Hellman, he believed, had “supervised” the Hacketts, and Hellman was fundamentally political and inflexibly doctrinaire. Her outlook lay at the root of a conspiracy. She was an impenitent Stalinist; she followed, he said, the Soviet line. Like the Soviets, she was anti-Zionist. And, just as the Soviets had obliterated Jewish particularity at Babi Yar, the ravine where thousands of Jews, shot by the Germans, lay unnamed and effaced in their deaths, so Hellman had directed the Hacketts to blur the identity of the characters in the play…

Removing Anne Frank from the Diary of Anne Frank just completes Lillian Hellman’s crime. It’s only appropriate that it be so considering that the Communists were the collaborators of the Nazis. The various incarnations steadily removed Anne’s Jewishness.

“Achter het Huis”, in Dutch “Behind the house”, is the blasphemous work by Ilja Pfeijffer that erases the Jewish identity of Anne Frank as well as her Nazi assassins, setting the story of the author of the “Diary” in our time, making it the parable of a domestic, sexual and family quarrel. Pfeijffer in his text avoids words like “Nazis” and “Jews”, and adds “bitch” and four-letter words instead 

The theatrical opera revolves around Fritz Pfeffer’s fabricated sexual assault of Margot Frank, Anne’s sister. Pfeffer is the Jewish dentist who hid with the Franks and died in the Shoah. 

Playwright Ilja Pfeijffer in the past made statements against the Jews. A year ago, the playwright wrote about Leon de Winter, perhaps the most famous Dutch Jewish writer and himself author of a work on the Frank family: “If all Jews were like Leon de Winter, I would see the reason for anti-Semitism”. 

The shameful accusation came after De Winter’s decision to abandon his historic Dutch publisher for hosting the book of a Belgian author, Dyab Abou Jahjah, a Hezbollah advocate who incited violence against the Israelis and spoke of the “feeling of victory” following the September 11 attacks in the USA. Too much, for De Winter.

And then there are the multicultural productions.

I haven’t seen either People’s Light and Theatre’s or Drexel University’s multicultural productions of The Diary of Anne Frank, it’s true. I’m sure the casts and teams did fine work. But even without seeing them, I know this much: Anne’s story isn’t multicultural; it’s Jewish.

 Of course, a university production differs from a professional one in that the cast is limited to enrolled students. Still, in that same Exponent piece, the student who played Anne, Vida Manalang, noted that director Bill Fennelly made a point of telling his cast, “This isn’t your mama’s Anne Frank.”

Or Anne Frank at all.

There are two types of extermination. In the first you destroy the body. In the second you kill the soul.