Is it possible, just possible, that commenters on social media overreacted to the message Justin Bieber wrote in a guest book at the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam over the weekend?
Officials at the museum think so. They released a statement Monday saying they were delighted the young pop sensation visited the museum, which is located in the house were Frank and her family hid during the Second World War to escape the Nazis.
“We think it is very positive that he took the time and effort to visit our museum,” said a post on the museum’s Facebook page . “He was very interested in the story of Anne Frank and stayed for over an hour. We hope that his visit will inspire his fans to learn more about her life and hopefully read the diary.”
Bieber continued his uninterrupted streak of minor acts of a bizarre nature when he visited the museum during a break in his European tour and managed to include himself in the message he left in the guest book. “Truly inspiring to be able to come here. Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a belieber,” he wrote.
Critics – and they are circling these days – immediately smelled fresh blood and pounced. The general negative opinion was that Bieber failed to show proper respect for Anne Frank, who as a young girl left the world her poignant diary about her family’s life in hiding. She died in a concentration camp in 1945.
But the museum doesn’t see it the same way. “His comments were quite innocent,” a museum official told The Guardian . “He was here for more than hour and interested in Anne Frank’s life, and that for us is the most important thing.”
TMZ reported that a source told the gossip website that Bieber had learned during his visit that Frank had been a follower of the popular culture of her day, which prompted his remark about hoping she would have been a fan of his, had their generations coincided.
The fact he went to the museum is indeed impressive. After all, he was a wealthy teenager in Amsterdam. There were a lot of other places he could have spent an hour.