Dutch Rapper Changes Anne Frank Stage Name After Outcry Over ‘Insensitivity’ and Antisemitic Tweets
A 25-year-old Dutch rapper who went by the name Anne Frank said she will change her stage name following criticism and the uncovering of her past antisemitic comments on Twitter, JTA reported last week.
The performer, whose real name is Anne van der Does, said the stage name was a tribute to the Holocaust victim and teenage diarist, and that she chose it because it had been her nickname since elementary school.
The Anne Frank House in Amsterdam called the use of the name “insensitive” and said the rapper showed “little empathy to the feelings of Holocaust survivors.”
The artist defended herself in an interview with the Het Parool daily published on Wednesday, saying, “It’s not malicious. I read her books. She’s an inspiration, a role model for living in unbearable situations. I know we’re not living in wartime but the world isn’t peaceful either.” The rapper added that she has received death threats for picking the stage name.
The performer released her debut single, titled “Silence,” in late June, and in the track she sings, “Anne Frank is a bossy b—h,” and, “I stashed s–t in the secret annex,” the latter being a reference to the hiding place where Frank and her family stayed for two years during the Holocaust before being discovered by the Nazis and murdered.
Soon after the interview was published, the Dutch watchdog group Center for Information and Documentation on Israel (CIDI), revealed that the performer had been tweeting antisemitic and anti-Israel comments for years. In one Twitter post she wrote, “If Taylor Swift were Jewish, I’d gas her personally,” and in 2014, she commented on the extraction of gas in northern Holland, saying, “There is a heaven for a Jew.”
This year the artist wrote: “Anne Frank died of typhus so she was never murdered” and on the eve of International Holocaust Remembrance day, she tweeted: “A Jewish connotation [from my stage name] is very sensitive for you all but I hear nothing from you about what the Jews in 2019 are doing in Palestine.” Among her other controversial posts, she has also tweeted a song titled, “Free Palestine,” and wrote: “I’m Anne Frank and I just rapped about freeing Palestine. It can be done.”
Hierbij een bloemlezing. Al jarenlang tweet deze persoon antisemitische teksten, die haar artiestennaam en haar ‘goede bedoelingen’ in een ander licht plaatsen. CIDI vindt deze naamkeuze ongepast. Misdaden van de Holocaust mogen niet worden gebagatelliseerd. pic.twitter.com/1Ilat1Ypzf
— CIDI (@CIDI_nieuws) June 26, 2019
Hidde J. van Koningsveld, the head of the pro-Israel group CiJo, CIDI’s youth organization, shared on Twitter more of the singer’s past antisemitic posts, dating back to 2010 and 2012, and called the antisemitic tweets and the use of the Anne Frank name “disgusting.”
The rapper said through her spokesperson that she “never meant to cause distress” and that she will instead use the stage name Anne, JTA reported.