A Spanish musical based on the life of Anne Frank has upset the last surviving member of her family, 82-year-old Buddy Elias, according to media reports.
Elias says it is inappropriate to create a musical about a Jewish girl who died in the Holocaust. ‘Anne’s father would burst into tears [if he knew],’ Elias is quoted as saying in Wednesday’s Volkskrant.
Elias is chairman of the Basel-based Anne Frank Fund which holds the official copyright to Anne Frank’s Diary. But because there are no direct quotes from the book in the musical, the organisation cannot ban the show, says Elsevier magazine.
Nevertheless a spokesman for the Fund shares Elias’ reservations. ‘It is a tragic story that has been turned into a glamorous spectacle,’ a spokesman told NRC Handelsblad.
But the musical’s director Rafael Alvero, who has worked on the project for 10 years, says no disrespect is intended. ‘It is a song of praise for a young and brave person,’ he is quoted as saying in the press.
And the Amsterdam-based Anne Frank Foundation too has no problem with the show and has checked the script for accuracy.
‘We understand the reaction of the Fund [in Basel] but we believe the makers have been careful and used their integrity. On top of that, it’s useful because there’s little knowledge about the Holocaust in Spain,’ a spokesman said.
The Foundation is to provide additional information about Anne Frank to schoolchildren who attend the show.
Both the Basel and Amsterdam organisations stress that their difference of opinion over the musical has not led to hostility between the two groups.
The musical is due to premiere in Madrid on February 28 starring a 13-year-old Cuban girl as Anne Frank, reports the NRC.
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