(CBS News) Pop star Justin Bieber has had another bizarre moment on his lately rough European tour. Over the weekend, the 19-year-old singer visited the Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam and left a message in the guestbook saying he hoped the teenager — who died in a Nazi concentration camp — would have been a fan of his.
Since leaving the message, the pop sensation has had his knuckles rapped in the social media world for leaving the odd note where the Jewish, teenage Holocaust victim — made famous by her diary — hid from the Nazis before being discovered and shipped to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp where she died in 1945.
Bieber said the visit had been inspiring, writing in the guestbook, “Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a Belieber.”
“Belieber” suggests that Bieber hopes that she would have been one of his fans.
The Internet lit up. “She would’ve been a WHAT?” someone said. Another wrote, “That little idiot is way too full of himself.” Thousands more were published along the same vein of criticism.
To use glib, pop-music language in connection with the Holocaust, may have been carrying even pop-naivete too far.
But others say Bieber should be cut some slack. Maybe, they say, he was just wishing that Anne Frank had had a normal life, instead of a tragic, short one.
Caroline Frost, entertainment editor of the Huffington Post, said, “In her diary, there are dreams of Hollywood and all the film stars. I’m sure that she would have been absolutely that age, and we hope living a normal happy life, which for any 13-year-old, does involve knowing what Justin Bieber’s up to.”
The Anne Frank Museum says Bieber came in good faith and the publicity has been huge. For Bieber’s part, CBS News’ Mark Phillips reported, it was another episode in what’s turning into a rough tour for the pop idol. He’s had angry confrontations with photographers in London, had his pet monkey seized in Germany and has had to cancel concerts in Portugal. Phillips said, “Apparently, being a teeny-bopper pop star isn’t what it used to be.”
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