Why the Anne Frank video is so unsettling

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I logged onto the computer last weekend to see that Anne Frank was a trending topic on Twitter. That was largely thanks to the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, which released (as the Bintel Blog reported) a new video, showing the only known footage of Anne, leaning out of a window and watching a married couple. It immediately became a hit on YouTube. Seeing such a timelessly tragic figure from another time on such definitively contemporary context — Web 2.0 — had an odd feeling to it. And then of course, Anne got caught in the middle of a bizarre dust-up between David Mamet and the Disney Studio. (Mamet’s re-imagining of the diary onscreen involved a contemporary girl going to Israel to learn about the trauma of suicide bombings) and she is the subject of a new book by Francine Prose.

It shouldn’t be shocking, or odd, that Anne Frank continues to be with us. Her image and name have become icons, instantly recognizable symbols of what the Nazis destroyed, but also of young womanhood and its possibilities.

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Sarah Seltzer is a regular contributor to the Sisterhood, which cross-posts weekly with Jewesses with Attitude.

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