Retailer Turned Anne Frank's Memory Into A Halloween Costume

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A Halloween costume company was criticized for selling Anne Frank costumes, so it pulled the items from its catalog. Other websites followed suit.

Anne Frank's diary  on display in the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam.

HalloweenCostumes.com was rightfully slammed on social media for selling costumes of Holocaust victim Anne Frank.

Frank wrote a diary while hiding from Nazis with her family during World War II, but in 1944, the family was discovered. Frank was 15 when she died at a concentration camp.

Her writing went on to become a window into the horrific realities the Jewish people experienced during the war, so it’s no wonder that many people were shocked to see her memory being used as a Halloween prop.

Once internet users shared screenshots of the costume on Twitter, criticizing the company for trivializing Frank’s memory, the website’s parent company was forced to apologize and remove the product from its catalog.

On Twitter, users who noticed that the costume featuring World War II-era clothing and a beret was being sold on the online Halloween costume website didn’t stay quiet. One of the people who harshly criticized HalloweenCostumes.com was the head of the Anti-Defamation League’s Arizona office, Carlos Galindo-Elvira.

Ross Walker Smith, the spokesperson for Fun.com, which runs HalloweenCostumes.com, took to Twitter to explain that the firm doesn’t only produce costumes for Halloween, and that the outfits associated with the Holocaust victim are used in other activities, such as “school projects and plays.” However, Smith added, the costume was pulled after online users expressed outrage.

While the company stopped selling the costume as early as Sunday, other websites like Walmart.comziggosparty.com, and TheHalloweenSpot.com still featured similar products labeled as “WWII evacuee costume,” or “WWII girl costume” up until Monday. Thankfully, these websites seem to have since removed the items from their listings.

While Frank’s memory should always be celebrated and her story should always be taught at schools so we may be reminded of what war, bigotry, and hate truly look like, it’s important to keep companies in check by letting them know that trivializing her memory does nothing to fight racism — especially in President Donald Trump’s America.

Banner and thumbnail image credit: Reuters/Antonio Bronic

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