THE HAGUE – Teen idol Justin Bieber faced withering criticism Sunday after he visited the Anne Frank museum in Amsterdam and wrote that he hoped the Jewish girl who died in a Nazi death camp would have been a fan.
The museum said on its Facebook page that Canadian singer Bieber, 19, had visited the Anne Frank House, where she and her family hid from the Nazis, for more than an hour “with his friends and guards.”
“Truly inspiring to be able to come here. Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a belieber,” Bieber wrote in the guestbook after the visit, the museum said.
A belieber is a term used to describe one of the celebrity’s fanatical fans, most of whom are teen or pre-teen girls.
Anne Frank’s diary is a moving account of her two years in hiding from the Nazis with her family in a secret annexe that is today a popular museum in central Amsterdam.
She died in 1945 aged 15 at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in northern Germany.
Bieber’s remarks provoked furious responses on Facebook, with one poster calling Bieber’s guestbook entry “dumb and crass”.
“I can’t fathom how anyone, even a teenage celebrity, could leave Anne Frank’s house with less of an appreciation of history, the Holocaust and the unspeakable things humanity has done to so many innocents,” another commentator wrote.
“Save those comments for your Facebook, Justin. Not a guestbook that’s a part of history,” wrote another.
Bieber is on a European tour and played in the Dutch city of Arnhem on Saturday.