Forward Thinking

Hipster Anne Frank Speaks Back From Twitter Attic

By Renee Ghert-Zand

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Guess who sent me an email from her attic — er, I mean, loft? My post here last Thursday about Hipster Anne Frank’s tasteless tweets didn’t sit well with her, and she wanted to let me know. She wrote me saying that I had gotten her all wrong.

The email arrived two days after she called me a “Jew hater” on Twitter, which she must have meant ironically… right?

Her email was addressed to me and to writers and editors at Time and the Atlantic, who wrote follow ups to my original story. Hipster Anne Frank carbon copied some folks over at Jezebel, Jewcy, Heeb and Tablet for good measure, possibly because she knows them — or is one of them. Whoever she is, she knows the online addresses for Jewish hipness. I’m fairly certain our tweeter is Jewish based on her reference to “our [my italics] cultural comedic tradition of addressing oppression in seemingly ‘distasteful’ ways.” But at this point, I don’t really know who is behind the twitter handle. That’s because Hipster Anne Frank didn’t break character in writing to me.

I was seriously considering cutting Hipster Anne Frank a little bit of slack after reading her message. She made some good points about Anne Frank having had a sense of humor and an appreciation for popular culture, and about Jews’ historical use of dark humor to get through difficult times. I totally got what she meant when she wrote, “What I feel bad about is that most young people today only know me as that lucky young girl who Justin Bieber visited while on tour in Amsterdam.”

Nonetheless, I maintain that there are better ways to get young people to learn about Anne Frank’s legacy. For instance, there was recently the Anne Frank Trust’s “Thirteen in 13” writing contest that encouraged British teens to be inspired by Anne Frank’s words and think of ways to improve British society in particular and the world in general. This is obviously far too earnest an endeavor for Hipster Anne Frank.

I’m well aware that by writing about Hipster Anne Frank, I have brought her additional attention and quite a few more followers. That is unfortunate.

But if I hadn’t written what I had, I wouldn’t have gotten the email from Hipster Anne Frank with its post-script, which speaks more loudly than I ever could about just how misguided and unfunny this pathetic online joke is. I read it and realized this unidentified tweeter wasn’t really serious about explaining herself, and that there was no reason for me to extend her the benefit of the doubt.

“PS I’m not hiding behind a Twitter handle. I’m hiding behind a bookcase,” she signed off.


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