Justin Bieber has caused controversy by expressing the view that Anne Frank “would have been a belieber” during his visit to the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam.
The public were made aware of Mr Bieber’s sentiments after The Anne Frank House wrote on their Facebook page on Saturday: “Yesterday night Justin Bieber visited the Anne Frank House, together with his friends and guards. Fans were waiting outside to see a glimpse of him. He stayed more than an hour in the museum. 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 19-year-old’s 37 million Twitter followers are called ‘beliebers’, so the comparison between his fans and a victim of the Holocaust has sparked a global response.
Gillian Walnes, co-founder of the Anne Frank Trust UK said: “This is a place where Anne Frank spent two years hiding in claustrophobic conditions, where she put down her dreams of making the world a better place. Now 70 years later a pop singer is trying to hijack this for his own self-aggrandisement. It says a lot about what his ego is turning in to.”
Karen Pollock, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, commented: “I am glad he visited the Anne Frank House, but a bit lost for words regarding the message he wrote."
The controversial remark has sparked angry responses on Twitter and Facebook.
The Anne House Museum Facebook page has received over 1,000 comments, with some Facebook users calling Mr Bieber “conceited” and “self-absorbed". Others have given the teenager credit for taking “the trouble to go to Anne Frank’s house".
Mr Bieber is currently on his European tour.