Anne Frank House, Israel advocates disappointed by Netflix “roast” of Anne Frank

Adolf Hitler (played by Gilbert Gottfried) addressing Anne Frank (Rachel Feinstein) on the Netflix show “Historical Roasts”
Adolf Hitler (played by Gilbert Gottfried) addressing Anne Frank (Rachel Feinstein) on the Netflix show “Historical Roasts”. (Photo: Historical Roasts / Netflix)

The new Netflix program “Historical Roasts” has riled up some people in the Netherlands, for its episode featuring a satirical banquet of Anne Frank. The 15-year-old Holocaust victim was portrayed by comedian Rachel Feinstein in the episode, where Frank was made fun of, and also mocked the others on stage at the end of the show.

“Us Jews always get through the pain with laughter. If we don’t laugh, we cry,” said host Jeffrey Ross. “So with that in mind, please enjoy the Roast of Anne Frank, and the end of my career,” he said in the show’s introduction.

Dutch organization CIDI, which advocates on behalf of Israel and also Jewish people, called the show “distasteful” for allowing Frank to be “verbally assaulted” by Hitler. “It is forgotten that there are survivors and that traumas live on in other generations,” CIDI said in a statement.

“Everyone knows you as a hero and a best-selling author, but to me you’ll always be little number 825060,” comedian Gilbert Gottfried as Adolf Hitler said to Frank. “I’m kidding!” he said, and later joked, “Of all the accounts that I’ve read, Anne, your book is by far the most flammable.”

“Anne, I am so sorry. I had no idea Hitler was gonna say such terrible things,” Ross added.

“You tried to break us, but today the Jewish people are thriving more than ever. In fact, guess what, Hitler. You’re being played by a Jew right now,” Feinstein as Frank said of Gottfried. “And it’s the loudest most annoying Jew we could possibly find!”

At the end of the show, Frank's character said life "sucked" in the attic, so, "I made dirty jokes, I mocked things, and through all that pain, I still laughed, because that's what the Jews do," she said. If you want to know more about Anne Frank's story, she told the audience to contact Netflix "and ask them why there are 5,000 documentaries about Hitler and none about me."

The Anne Frank House in Amsterdam said it was displeased by the show. The museum was disappointed that Netflix did not contact them in advance, according to Dutch magazine Linda.

In response, Netflix said that the episode was a source of lengthy internal discussions. “These were difficult conversations, but most of the time we favor the creative freedom of the [content] creators.”

The show also includes Jon Lovitz as Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Mindy Rickles as her father, comedian and Navy veteran Don Rickles, and Fred Willard as God.

“To the folks watching at home, if you’re offended by anything you see tonight, just do what FDR did and look the other way,” Ross said early in the show after delivering a few jokes about Frank, her diary, and her difficult life in hiding.

 

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