I Was Anne Frank for Halloween

Anne Frank CostumeIf you ever decide to go as Anne Frank to anything, for any reason (historical re-enactment? Costume party? Sexual fetish?) this is what you need to know:

She dressed like a normal 1930s girl in Germany. If you elect to do this, but you don’t have an Anne Frank face –like if you are blonde, corn-fed, or have healthy color in your cheeks– people will be complimenting you all night on your impeccable “‘30s person” costume.

I happen to have an Anne Frank face, not to mention the following qualities:

• Female
• Jewish
• Young(ish)
• Oversharer
• Uncomfortable in small quarters
• Attracted to ambivalent men

So for Halloween 2009, I cut a Star of David out of a yellow cereal box, wrote “Juden” on it, taped it to a blazer and carried a Moleskine notebook around even though my mom didn’t want me to.

Anne Frank with UN CostumeResponses ranged from “You’re, like, Jewish, right? If you weren’t, that would be bad” (from slutty cowgirl) to “Dude, look! You know who that is? With the diary! That’s so fucked up!” (from drunk guy dressed as a Blues Brother to his drunk friend dressed as the other Blues Brother on the subway).

But it’s cool, because despite everything I believed the cowgirl and the Blues Brothers were truly good at heart.

This year I’m going as Anne Frankenstein.

-Text by Anna Breslaw

What do you think?

About The Author

Anna Breslaw

Anna Breslaw’s writing has appeared in the New York Times, New York Magazine, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency and other places. She lives in New York.

39 Responses

  1. Matt Zvi

    First of all, even if you’re Jewish, it’s not OK to be Anne Frank on Halloween. Second of all, those weren’t the blues brothers on the subway. They were Hasidim.

  2. LV

    not funny and will never be funny. she was an innocent CHILD. satire just doesn’t work that way, sorry. btw, i know this girl anne, she used this costume last year.

    “It’s one thing to make the
    Same mistake twice
    Another thing to make it
    All of your life” -311

  3. SB

    “satire just doesn’t work that way, sorry”

    FINALLY someone who understands satire.

  4. Jack

    I call bullsh*t on people saying it can’t be funny. Everything can be funny. Literally everything and anything. Dead babies? There’s a joke there. Forced female circumcision? Definitely jokes available. Anne Frank? So many jokes! She wrote a diary that was then published and read by millions of people (I’m sure she had planned on that when she wrote about her sexual feelings). Was it a tragic situation? Of course. Does that mean there aren’t jokes having to do with a girl masturbating while hiding from Nazis? Of course not. This costume is hysterical.

  5. Nina

    Awesome! I am so stealing this next year!
    Anne Frank is a somewhat important historical figure and what better way to respect her!

  6. Beth

    I’m actually thinking of dressing as Anne Frank this year. Not because I think its funny, but because I am very interested in her. I’ve read several books about her, not to mention her diary, and I don’t see how dressing as her is an insult.

  7. Ashlee

    I was Anne Frank for Halloween last year, and my boyfriend was Hitler. Now that, I admit, is horrible. :)

    but, people loved it.

    Just being AF isn’t really too bad.

  8. Jo

    Revolting and disgusting.
    Lets dress up like a little girl who spend much time hidden away and then died horribly in a concentrationcamp.
    And why?
    Not for a movie, not to learn something, not to educate, just to have some fun at a party.
    If I would see someone dressed like that at Halloween, you’d be in trouble.
    You should do some research, learn about the war, try and understand this girl and what happened to her and many like her.
    If you think you already know a lot about it… you should read it all again.
    Probably a few times.
    Further more, she never wore a star with “Juden” or “Jude” on it, shows how much you know about the subject.
    Even more shocking that many of the people commenting on it seem to think it is ok.

    You should have listened to your mother.

  9. Jim

    Anne Frank face, Terry Shaivo mind. In the first place, who cares what you dressed up as on Halloween? I’d lay off Halloween, and read a history book instead.

  10. Dirk

    Anna Breslen is one twisted sister. Her Gawker article comparing her grandparent Holocaust survivors to remorseless sociopaths was equally disturbing. Self hating Jews with too much time on their hands are to be avoided like locusts, IMO.

  11. Jimi ray

    Lol. You DO know “juden” is the plural, right? A singular star — for a singular Jew — would have read “jude”.

    Good thing you did the research. Heaven forbid you ended up looking like some two-bit dick-bait looking for attention, instead of the historically accurate, satirical speculum of feigned discomfort that you were.

  12. Ioannes

    Revolting and disgusting – typical of this post modern, neo-pagan, hedonistic, libertine age of unlimited license to do whatever you want without any personal responsibility or accountability.

  13. Thomas

    sad pathetic and self involved. other descriptors include jaded borderline personality lacking in empathy. narcissistic also comes to mind.

  14. Ariela

    I think you’re truly sick and a shame on my religion. May G-d forgive you, even if you don’t believe in Him.

  15. David Tsal

    Anna Breslaw grew up in America. She never experienced Jew-hatred on her own skin. She was never called “Dirty Yid full of s–t,” she never heard “Satan sperm” or “Hitler was right” addressed directly to her, she was not stalked, beaten, spat on, urinated on, etc.

    For almost 2000 years, this is what every Jew on the planet went through. Often it was worse.

    The result — she has grown up utter filth.

    This is one of those very rare times when I feel that blatant Jew-hatred (antisemitism) would actually do good. To her, anyway.

  16. Natan79

    Anna Breslaw definitely isn’t a self-hating Jew. She is a Jew who hates *other* Jews.

  17. john

    First of all: nice costume

    Second off: people need to relax. Sure, anne frank was a child and died in a concentration camp. Sure, hiler had 6-8 million (many of which were jews) killed. but if you’re saying it’s wrong for her to dress like anne frank, it must be wrong to dress like a native amrican, am I right? After all, the US did basically the same to them that the nazis (NOT germans, there’s a difference) had done to the jews. In fact, hitler references andrew jackson’s indian removal policies in mein kampf, but no, we can never do wrong to others.
    Have you ever seen someone dressed as a russian? But that’s ok, too? Stalin was responsible for the deaths of over 60 million “kulaks”, or people he perceived to be “enemies” of the state–ten times more than hitler

    People need to stop being so damn sensitive all the time, she didn’t do this to offend people…

  18. liesel

    Oh, bologna, baloney, sure she did. Someone who evokes hundreds of responses (see Tabletmag.com) shouldn’t compound her errors with a (misspelled) yellow star. Cheerios box, really? Someone here mentioned borderline personality disorder. Maybe. How painful for her parents and grandparents. Don’t blame them for her — they chose life. They paid for her orthodonture. Is this a career, does she have a degree in Bad Taste? Let’s hope she grows up, with therapy and medication.

    Those of you who thought it was a great costume? No, it wasn’t. Anne Frank died utterly miserably, without any Cheerios; she deserves better than a bratty Doppelganger –very manquée — clowning around on a party circuit. Native American costumes debase their Nations when worn by those who don’t honor them. And people should be “damn sensitive” to the deaths “of over 60 million” people. Hitler killed far more than six million Jews — gypsies, gays, Communists, Socialists, Poles, Russians, etc. His war killed even more. Get your numbers straight, John.

  19. Dan

    Anna Breslaw is a smug asshole who clearly has no sense of what real suffering is. Apparently the self-absorbed, empathy-less Jewish American Princess has evolved. She not superior because of her nails and hair, or the latest fashion, or that fantastic nose job. Now, she’s superior because she can pass judgment on the stupid old Jews she grew up with who are annoying and pushy and bore her with Holocaust stories. And she can laugh and groan about them with her ironic, cool, urban, uber-aware friends in some trendy bar. What she doesn’t get is that in the 1930’s, Jews in Germany were behaving exactly the same way, rolling their eyes at THEIR parents.

  20. Norma

    I too dressed as Anne this year. Many people enjoyed it. Majority of people that sent me hate were online. I was told to kill myself and various other cruel things. We’re ignorant and stupid for dressing as one of our heroines? No. Those who sent us cruel hate. They are ignorant. If we wanted to be mean, we would have actually ridiculed Anne in some sort of cruel manner. We dressed up as Anne would have. That’s it. Just stop with the ignorance already. You’re offended by an innocent costume? How about all the slutty, perverse costumes they have for women? Native American costumes? Nun costumes? Halloween is innocent. There was no joke made. Only a deep admiration for Anne. There is no need for cruelty. Especially when the intentions were only good.

  21. Sam

    Anna Breslaw is a disgusting hot mess. I have no idea why Heeb’s even giving her face time. I love the offensive humor you find on this site, but this is clearly just stupid and offensive. It’s not even funny. If I see another one of her articles again on Heeb I think I’ll stop subscribing.

  22. EL

    Very tasteless idea. Very self-serving idea. I know she thinks she’s incredibly clever. I call it a media whore idea and very wrong.


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