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To wear or not to wear the Star of David - Anne Frank world book day

(49 Posts)
LC01 Wed 01-Mar-17 12:43:54

Hello, my daughter has been asked to dress up as a strong female character from a book. We recently went to Amsterdam and visited the Anne Frank museum, so we decided that Anne would be a good choice. I have the costume, but I've noticed that some images online have a child wearing the yellow Star of David badge.

We this be seen as being racists? As we're not as a family and I don't want anyone to take offence, especially as my daughter's school is very multi-cultural.

LC01 Wed 01-Mar-17 12:48:09

Oops! I pressed too soon. I've asked admin to remove this post. As it's not intended to be posted in 'relationships'.

ShelaghTurner Wed 01-Mar-17 12:48:36

I'm not Jewish but have worked extensively with holocaust survivors and I wouldn't advise the star. I think you'd be on very very shaky ground because it's (rightly) such an emotive item.

RMC123 Wed 01-Mar-17 12:50:03

Hello! I can see why you might feel uncomfortable but it is factually correct. How about having a bag as part of her costume where she can put props like the star, her diary and her identify papers etc?

EssentialHummus Wed 01-Mar-17 12:50:44

I'm Jewish (if it matters). I wouldn't wear the star. IMO it simply should not form part of a costume/game/bit of fun (which WBD is).

OldGuard Wed 01-Mar-17 12:52:56

I would advise against it - am not Jewish although my daughters two best friends are and based on knowing their families for 12 years it's not something my daughter would do because it was such a awful thing

Hopefully someone Jewish would come along who can speak from first person perspective

OldGuard Wed 01-Mar-17 12:53:39

I would choose different character

ShelaghTurner Wed 01-Mar-17 12:53:51

Yes, that's what I also meant to say. The fact that it's dressing up for a bit of fun especially makes it inappropriate.

RMC123 Wed 01-Mar-17 12:54:32

Thinking about it more, I suppose it is really down to sensitively teachers will handle it and if they have time to explain the context. It is very emotive

CoolCarrie Wed 01-Mar-17 12:55:41

Don't use the Star of David, just a diary , I D papers and maybe some folder with pictures of film stars of the time as Anne decorated her room with pictures.

HamSandwichKiller Wed 01-Mar-17 12:56:49

No absolutely 100% not appropriate. Well intentioned as may be, it would be trivialising mass murder. Please don't.

ElinorRigby Wed 01-Mar-17 12:57:44

I think the correct term would be cultural appropriation.

I suppose for me there would be a question about strength. While Anne's diaries show her to be a reflective person, circumstances imposed a kind of passivity on her. She was in hiding. There was no way anybody could fight or resist without getting themselves killed. She along with her family was taken away. She died in Belsen.

So, no, I would not do it.

(I am the descendant of survivors.)

thetigerthatcamefortea Wed 01-Mar-17 12:59:51

I'm not Jewish but my husband is if that's makes any difference.
I love that you are taking the opportunity to explore the idea of a strong female for WBD and I think that Anne frank is a very good example.
(It was the first "proper" book I read as a young girl and it has had a profound effect on my throughout growing up)
I would leave the star out. It is very emotive.
But echo the idea of having a satchel with her diary, magazines. ID papers etc.

HakeLively Wed 01-Mar-17 13:01:01

What is Anne Frank's 'costume'?! confused

LosingDory Wed 01-Mar-17 13:02:55

I find the idea of dressing up as Anne Frank distasteful. I'd choose someone else

namechange20050 Wed 01-Mar-17 13:03:34

How the flip if it cultural appropriation. It's world book day ffs! Ridiculous comment.

Lochan Wed 01-Mar-17 13:04:26

I was at an event last year where a child dressed up as Anne Frank. She just wore a black dress with a Peter Pan collar. No star.

I would not recommend putting on a star as part of your costume.

namechange20050 Wed 01-Mar-17 13:06:08

I think the issue everyone has missed is Anne Frank isn't a character, she was a real person. I'd go as someone else.

ElinorRigby Wed 01-Mar-17 13:17:19

Well it's actually quite weird when you think about it - that our idea of female strength is a teenager who had to be hidden and was then gassed.

What does it say about the availability of images of strong women in literature for teenagers?

I am trying to think of people from YA fiction. Lyra from Northern Lights springs to mind.

Ellisandra Wed 01-Mar-17 13:18:29

I'm with namechange.
Surely the focus on WBD is on fiction?
Anne Frank's diary is an amazing book that every child should read.
But even the word "character" that you use makes me uncomfortable.

She's not a character - she's a very real little girl who was driven into hiding and then murdered.

A part of me would like her story raised any way it can be...
And a part of me wants to acknowledge all books on WBD.

But I say save the costume for "people I admire day" and even on that day, not the Star.

Ellisandra Wed 01-Mar-17 13:20:24

I'm also a bit hmm at "we decided".
Best to let children decide for themselves, I think.

FrancisCrawford Wed 01-Mar-17 13:22:09

As said by others, Anne Frank was a real person

She is not a character in a book and as such it could be viewed as highly offensive to relegate her to this status however well-intentioned or inadvertent

ElinorRigby Wed 01-Mar-17 13:25:10

How the flip if it cultural appropriation. It's world book day ffs! Ridiculous comment.

My mother's cousin, his wife and his baby son were taken to Auschwitz and murdered. If my mother and her parents had not get out, they would have met a similar fate That is my culture, which affects my mother and which, in turn, affects me.

For a young woman to decide that she would really like to dress up for a day as a girl who was murdered in a similar way, as part of some book-related fun, is rather jarring to say the least.

While I can see that Anne's life makes an impression on many people - and the intention may be a good one - it is not an appropriate or respectful thing to do.

HakeLively Wed 01-Mar-17 13:25:12

Anne Frank wasn't gassed. She died of Typhus I believe, in Belsen, very near the end of the War.

It's really distatesful to let your kid dress up as her though. I'm not even sure what her 'costume' is, since she was an actual real person.

ElinorRigby Wed 01-Mar-17 13:42:00

Sorry, yes of course Hake - it was typhus. I should not have made that mistake.

Deaths from malnutrition and disease due to the inhuman living conditions, were also a major cause of death for people living in camps. Theresienstadt for example.

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