The Harvard Lampoon apologizes for editing Anne Frank's head onto a bikini-clad body

Anne Frank HouseAnne Frank is pictured above in 1940.
  • The Harvard Lampoon issued an apology on Tuesday for editing Anne Frank’s head onto a bikini-clad body.
  • The caption read: “Add this to your list of reasons the Holocaust sucked.”
  • Hundreds of Harvard students signed a petition condemning the satirical magazine for the blunder, according to student newspaper the Harvard Crimson.
  • Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.

The Harvard Lampoon has apologised for publishing an image that showed Holocaust victim Anne Frank’s head edited onto a buxom bikini-clad woman’s body.

The image appeared in the most recent edition of the 150-year-old satirical magazine, with the caption, “Add this to your list of reasons the Holocaust sucked.”

Anne Frank is perhaps the most famous victim of the Holocaust. Her diaries of hiding out from the Nazis with her parents and sister in an Amsterdam attic were published by her father, the only member of her family to survive World War II.

The family’s hiding place was discovered during a raid in 1944, and Frank died a year later at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, at the age of 15. Her diaries have since been translated into around 70 languages and have been adapted into multiple plays, television dramas, and movies.

When the latest issue of the Lampoon started circulating the Ivy League school’s Cambridge, Massachusetts, campus this weekend, more than 250 students signed a petitioned condemning the magazine for the image, according to student newspaper the Harvard Crimson.

Among those who complained to the magazine was Rabbi Jonah C. Steinberg, a Harvard chaplain and executive director of the campus Hillel chapter, who wrote a letter to the editors, according to Haaretz.

Read more:
Researchers uncovered 2 pages of ‘dirty jokes’ in Anne Frank’s diary

He said the “depiction of Anne Frank’s face grafted to pinup imagery goes far beyond the distastefulness and provocativeness you obviously intend. It is the sexual violation of a child – one who, in life, was subjected to the most hideous of crimes.”

“We’re not going down this slippery slope of making jokes about genocide about, you know, objectifying a girl who was killed in gas chambers,” Harvard student Ilan Goldberg told CBS Boston.

On Tuesday, the editors of the Lampoon issued an apology on their website, saying that they “realise the extent of offence we have inflicted” and “apologise for our negligence in allowing this piece to be created.”

“Furthermore, we want to both affirm and emphasise that the Lampoon condemns any and all forms of anti-Semitism,” the editors said.

They added that moving forward, they would be implementing new processes to insure that the magazine gets sufficient editorial oversight before being published.

Read the Lampoon’s full apology below:

In the past few days, the Lampoon has heard from many whom we hurt with content from the latest issue of our magazine, specifically a Photoshopped image of Anne Frank. We realise the extent of offence we have inflicted and understand that we must take responsibility for our actions.

We as individuals and we as an organisation would like to apologise for our negligence in allowing this piece to be created for and printed in our latest issue. We are sorry for any harm we have caused. Furthermore, we want to both affirm and emphasise that the Lampoon condemns any and all forms of anti-Semitism.

Moving forward, we will approach the content of our magazine with greater care. We realise that our publishing process lacks sufficient editorial oversight, so we are going to restructure our review process for issues to prevent the publication of content like this. In the coming weeks, based on conversations with the Office of Diversity Education & Support, our Graduate Board, advisors, and our peers, we are going to come up with a series of further steps to improve our publication and organisation as a whole.

These steps will be published on our website in the summer. However, they will constitute part of an ongoing process of change. If you’d like to share any thoughts or concerns, please reach out to us at [email protected]

Again, we are sorry for publishing this piece and for the harm it has caused, and are grateful to those who have taken the time to communicate their feelings about it with us.

On behalf of the editors of The Harvard Lampoon,

Nicholas S. Grundlingh, Co-President

Jack G. Stovitz, Co-President

Liana A. Spiro, Issue Editor

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