The Shmooze

Beyonce Visits Anne Frank House

By Anne Cohen

Beyonce took a little break from her Mrs. Carter World Tour to pay a visit to the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam with Jay-Z.

According to the museum’s Facebook page, the couple spent over an hour in the museum and were “very impressed by their visit to the hiding place of Anne Frank”.

Don’t believe us? See for yourself:

Queen Bey even took the time to sign the guestbook. Let’s just hope she didn’t pull a Bieber.

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When Selfies Get Out of Control

By Anne Cohen

Sometimes, it’s good to be reminded of the destructive power of the selfie.

A new Tumblr called “Selfies At Serious Places” does just that. It’s exactly how it sounds: people taking close up pictures of their faces with an incredibly inappropriate backdrop. Seriously though: what goes through your mind when you tweet a picture of yourself posing in the gas chamber at Auschwitz? Come on.

Other choice locations include the Anne Frank house, the Berlin Holocaust memorial, Chernobyl, the 9/11 memorial and Pearl Harbor.

Get it together people.

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Cops Find Drugs On Justin Bieber's Tour Bus

By Anne Cohen

Getty Images
Justin Bieber

Gasp! Bieber? Drugs? Say it ain’t so!

Cops standing around the blonde hearthrob’s tour bus outside the Globe Arena in Stockholm, apparently detected a “strong smell” coming from inside the vehicle, People Magazine reported.

According to Swedish newspaper Afonbladet, that smell was marijuana.

Police spokesman Lars Bystrom told the AP that a stun gun was also found at the scene. The “substance,” as pot is apparently called in Sweden, has been sent to a laboratory for analysis.

The Biebz, who arrived in Finland Thursday, was unfazed.

After all this controversy over his entry into the guestbook of the Anne Frank museum, maybe he just needs to unwind.

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Will.i.am. Defends Justin Bieber

By Anne Cohen

Getty Images
Justin Bieber

The public discussion (or really, babble at this point) regarding Justin Bieber’s controversial entry in the guestbook of the Anne Frank museum doesn’t seem to be dying down. Now, Will.i.am has come out in defense of the blonde heartthrob, saying the whole thing was blown out of proportion.

In an interview with The Sun on Saturday, the judge of the UK version of “The Voice” defended Bieber, who will be featured on the rapper’s new single #thatpower.

“I remember when I was 19, it was pretty tough. The difference between me and him is that I got to grow up in private, he is growing up in front of everybody,” he said. “The dude was in freaking Amsterdam. He could get sex because it’s legal, he could get drugs because it’s legal, and now we are making a hoopla because he said, ‘I wonder if Anne Frank was a Belieber?’ “He went to a museum! If you go to Amsterdam you are going to see some crazy freaking s–t, you are going to see some titties, there is a lot of s–t to do in Amsterdam but he chose to go to Anne Frank’s house. The guy is all right.”

Others have rushed to the Biebs’ defense, including rapper 50 cent, who, when asked at the premiere of “Pain & Gain,” said “She probably would have been [a believer].”

Mark Wahlberg, also at the premiere as one of the film’s stars, agreed, saying: “I think it’s best to put down the phone and Twitter and all that stuff, and just be a little more low-key right now. Because they’re watching every move he makes, everything he says, and less is more. Go take a vacation.”

What do you think?

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Ricky Gervais Stands By His Anne Frank Joke

By Michael Kaminer

Getty Images

L’affaire Gervais continues to snowball. And despite an open letter from comedian Ricky Gervais in London’s Jewish Chronicle this weekend, the controversy over his Holocaust jokes keeps intensifying.

Some backstory: As the Forward reported last week, Gervais went off about the Holocaust and Anne Frank on an early-April episode of the Jon Stewart Show. Among the comic gems Gervais shared: a line saying the Franks “were hiding in the attic to avoid paying rent to their landlord.” He also went on and on — while grinning — about how he couldn’t understand why the Nazis had not found Anne earlier. “Nazis must be stupid,” he exclaimed.

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A Deaf Holocaust Survivor’s Harrowing Tale

By Penina Kessler

Leave your headphones at home.

Charlotte Friedman, a 91-year-old Holocaust survivor, tells her story for the first time in a two part video series produced by Jewish.TV, the multimedia branch of Chabad.org. The twist? Friedman, who is deaf, conducted the interview entirely in American Sign Language.

The videos are part of a joint effort between Jewish Deaf Multimedia and Rabbi Joshua Soudakoff to reach out to the Jewish deaf community.

Friedman’s tale of escape from a Dutch internment camp is especially astonishing given that many deaf people were tortured and killed by the Nazis.

Friedman recounts her childhood in Germany, including how her parents managed to provide her with an education despite her impairment and the enactment of the Nuremberg laws. She also discusses how she crossed paths with another persecuted Jewish girl hiding out in Amsterdam — Anne Frank. Her parents befriended Anne Frank’s parents, but the bonds were broken when the Friedmans left for America.

Though she chatters away on many other subjects, when asked about her remarkable endurance, Friedman simply states: “I was very lucky.”

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Tiki Barber Calls Himself a 'Reverse Anne Frank'

By Lucy Cohen Blatter

Getty Images

Talk about a strange analogy.

Football pro-turned-TV-star-turned-football-pro-hopeful Tiki Barber is catching a lot of heat for a comment he made to a Sports Illustrated reporter in which he compared himself to Anne Frank. The New York Post’s headline reads, “Tiki comparing self with Anne Frank just despicable”, and the Daily News declared, “Tiki Barber, trying to look smart by invoking Anne Frank in SI piece, just looks dumb.”

In the interview, Barber, who’s attempting a comeback after retiring in 2007, discussed his very public split from his eight-month-pregnant wife Ginny and subsequent relationship with a very young and very blonde NBC intern, Traci Johnson.

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Anne Frank Gets the Musical Treatment

By Nathan Burstein

You’ve read Anne Frank’s “Diary of a Young Girl,” but what about her blog?

If you’re weirded out by the idea, you may not instantly love “Le Blog de Anne,” part of a promotional Web site for “Anne le Musical,” a song-filled new play about — you guessed it — the murdered Jewish teen.

Premiering today in Paris, the show has stirred controversy with its retelling of Frank’s famous story, in a production that includes rap, among other musical genres.

Somewhat miraculously, “Anne le Musical” turns out not to be in horrible taste, at least if French theater critics are to be believed. Hailed by Paris Match as a “great success,” the show was described by Le Figaro as “most stirring,” and as “a wonderful vocal performance” by Periscope.

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Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Le Blog de Anne, Diary of a Young Girl, Chloe Horry, Anne Le Musical, Anne Frank

Conan Apologizes (Sort Of) for Anne Frank Comparison

By Nathan Burstein

Wikicommons

A large part of Conan O’Brien’s charm used to be that he was different — or appeared to be — from other late-night talk-show hosts: less smarmy than Jay, less misanthropic than Dave.

For at least some fans, O’Brien’s departure from “The Tonight Show” last year was disappointing because of how it revealed that he, too, is often just another comedian with a raging ego. Even after a reported NBC payout of $32 million, a successful stand-up tour and a new gig on TBS, O’Brien seems to see himself as some sort of late-night martyr, still frequently referring to the saga on his new show, a year after everyone else stopped caring.

His victim complex is bigger than anyone could have guessed, however — or was, until a New York Times story on Friday about “Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop,” a documentary that premiered yesterday at the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas. Told on camera that an unhappy stop on last year’s comedy tour would soon be over, O’Brien responded, “I know people keep saying that, but that’s what they said to Anne Frank.”

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Fashion Designer's Nonsensical Anne Frank Interpretation May Sell T-Shirts

By Josh Tapper

It may have only been a blip in the ironic T-shirt-clad world of hipsterdom, but if culture-tracking websites like Jezebel and Vice see it fit to run images of aleXsandro Palombo’s latest clothing designs, well, who are we to argue?

The provocative, arguably iconoclastic, Italian designer and illustrator recently posted a set of politically charged T-shirt designs on his Humor Chic art blog. While North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il holding a multi-colored phallus-shaped lollipop might be cheeky, a grinning Anne Frank wearing combat lingerie and brandishing an AK-47 is slightly confusing.

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Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Hitler, Designer, Alexandro Palombo, Anne Frank, T-shirt

Tweeting Anne Frank

By Devra Ferst

‘Tis the season to tweet, pray and memorialize Jewish thoughts online. In the past year, we’ve seen the Western Wall get a twitter account and Auschwitz develop its own Facebook page.

ASF/AFF, Amsterdam/Basel

This past week, the Anne Frank Center USA along with the U.N. Holocaust Program launched a twitter account for Anne Frank, asking students who visit the center to imagine what they would say to Anne – in 140 characters or less — if they could communicate with her in hiding.

Students are prompted with the questions: “What messages of support would you have sent Anne?” and “What would you have told Anne that you have learned from her life and experience?”

In response, one student tweeted: “Anne, ur way of thinking made me braver to act and easier to understand myself. I’m very thankful with ur legacy.”

The responses, which so far have come in English, Russian, Spanish, Dutch and Arabic, are posted at the Anne Frank Center in New York, and online.

The campaign began the last week in March (which commemorates the 65th anniversary of Frank’s death at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp), and will run through April 11, Yom HaShoah.

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Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: yom hashoah, un holocaust program, twitter, facebook, jewish, auschwitz, bergen-belsen, anne frank center usa, anne frank




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