Photo Credit:
Lea Michele in a 2005 production of The Diary of Anne Frank.

“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.

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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.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.

4 COMMENTS

  1. There has been an attempt for some time to minimize the horror of the Holocaust. First it was dismissive articles and media broadcast guests complaining that others besides Jews were murdered in great numbers. Then it was strident complaints about the Jewish memorial and museum commemorating those lost in the Holocaust,… why were just Jews commemorated? Then it was articles about why were the Jews hunting down and punishing old men who had made new lives and were living quietly, some model citizens in their communities, wasn't that just cruel?

    Jews said, "Never Again." Jews said, "We will not foget." Others killed in the Holocaust were buried and forgotten by their own and now expect Jews to do the remembering and memoralizing for them. It is their own smallness and guilt speaking out. American Indians have been treated the same way. Our genocide and Holocaust has been hidden and perverted, made a joke and game of, for centuries, so the shame of what was done and continues to this day is more palatable to the world and to American citizens.

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