“Escape bunker” tourist games have become the latest rage now, but everything has a red line.
The Anne Frank Foundation drew that line last week when an ‘escape bunker’ tourist attraction opened in the Netherlands.
The new game is based on the annex attic where young teenager Anne Frank hid with her family from the Nazis, writing about the experience in a diary that became a world-renowned account of the Jews’ desperate attempt to escape the genocide.
The so-called “bunker” is located in Valkenswaard, a town about 87 miles south of Amsterdam. It is intended to make people think that if they were smart enough, they could remain hidden from the Nazis – maybe for the duration of World War II.
It’s been slammed as insensitive, especially since the room has been recreated to appear like the apartment where Anne Frank and her family lived during the war.
Game players are locked in and are given one hour within which to escape, using creative, “out of the box” teamwork.
But the Holocaust was no game. The lives of the young teenager and her family were trivial game pieces only to the monsters who tortured and stole their lives and those of their fellow villagers and loved ones.
A pitiful remnant of the majestic Jewish world that graced Europe with its wisdom and wealth was all that remained from blood-dripped hands of the Nazis in World War II.
Anne Frank was not among them.
The foundation which manages the museum in the house that contains the attic apartment in which the Frank family hid by the side of the canal, slammed the “game,” adding it was historically wrong as well.
“It shows very little empathy for survivors of the Shoah (Holocaust) to use the annex as a backdrop for an escape room,” the foundation said in a statement. The bunker “creates the impression that hiding (from the Nazis) is an exciting game and if those hiding are smart enough they won’t be caught.”
An impression that is obviously, tragically, horrifically wrong, as any member of the three subsequent generations of descendants of any Holocaust survivor can tell you.