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Company says sorry over ‘Anne Frank costume’ for Halloween

Pictures of the “Anne Frank” costume circulated on social media, and were met with anger by representatives of UK Jewish charities.

    A company has withdrawn an “Anne Frank Halloween costume” after complaints from prominent figures in the Jewish community.

    HalloweenCostumes.com said it apologised for any offence caused.

    Other outlets are selling the same product, which includes a dress, a beret, a shoulder bag and a “destination tag”, but market it as a “child World War Two evacuee costume”.

    Pictures of the “Anne Frank” costume circulated on social media, and were met with anger by representatives of UK Jewish charities.

    “Why would anyone want to ‘dress up’ as Anne Frank, a young girl murdered by the Nazis, for Halloween,” said Karen Pollock, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust (HET).

    “It is utterly inappropriate, offensive and quite simply beggars belief. The Holocaust is not a joke – this company needs to have a serious rethink.” 

    Cathy Ashley, the former chief executive of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust (HMDT) tweeted that “this company… needs to understand why Holocaust victims aren't a profit-making figure of fun for Halloween… I was stunned.”

    Laura Marks, chair of HMDT, tweeted: “There is nothing funny about the Holocaust or indeed, any genocide.  Some fancy dress simply not OK and can only deeply offend.”

    A spokesperson for the company released a statement on Twitter “apologising for any offence it has caused, as that’s never our intention.

    “We sell costumes not only for Halloween season, such as school projects and plays. We offer several types of historically accurate costumes – from prominent figures to political figures, to television characters.

    “We take feedback from customers very seriously. We have passed along the feedback regarding this costume, and it has been removed from the website at this time.”

    This is not the first time the outfit has been marketed in this way. In 2015, the same costume was being sold on eBay as a “1940s Period Anne Frank Fancy Dress Costume”.

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