Anne Frank House praises Justin Bieber visit amid 'belieber' controversy
POSTED: Monday, April 15, 2013 - 8:39am
UPDATED: Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - 9:55am
CNN — The Anne Frank House in Amsterdam on Monday praised a visit by Justin Bieber, the 19-year-old pop star who sparked outrage with what he wrote in the site's guest book.
When he stopped by the tourist site Friday, Bieber wrote, "Truly inspiring to be able to come here. Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a belieber," the house's official Facebook page said.
Adolescent and teen girls obsessed with the Canadian singer are known as "beliebers."
Anne Frank died a teenager in a Nazi concentration camp in 1945.
Thousands of people responded angrily to what Bieber wrote.
"She would've been a WHAT? That little idiot is way too full of himself," Kevin Garcia Leon wrote in the most popular comment on the site's Facebook page.
On CNN.com, the most popular comment read, "Can anyone be more self-obsessed?"
But the site itself expressed no complaints.
"The Anne Frank House was pleased to welcome Justin Bieber to the Anne Frank House last Friday," an official Facebook post said Monday.
"We think it is very positive that he took the time and effort to visit our museum. He was very interested in the story of Anne Frank and stayed for over an hour. We hope that his visit will inspire his fans to learn more about her life and hopefully read the diary."
The comments under the statement suggested it did little to calm those who were infuriated.
"Pity the guy, after making the effort to visit, wasn't grown up enough to have a break from being so self centered and make a comment like that," Steve Landles wrote in the most popular comment on that Facebook post.
Bieber, who is in the middle of a European tour, stopped by the Anne Frank House between his concert in Antwerp, Belgium, and a Saturday performance in Arnhem, Netherlands. He told fans on Twitter it was a "chill day."
He visited the house "together with his friends and guards" Friday night, according to the site's official Facebook page, adding that fans "were waiting outside to see a glimpse of him."
The Anne Frank House confirmed to CNN that its Facebook post carrying Bieber's message was authentic.
Bieber's representatives did not immediately respond to CNN's request for comment.
While the vast majority of the comments online slammed the pop star, some people expressed support for him.
Heather Mirman cited Anne Frank's quote, "Despite everything, I believe people are really good at heart."
"I think before everyone goes bashing Justin Bieber we should take a moment to think about these words and why Anne said them," she wrote. " ... He is trying to say that he would've been proud to (have) had her as a fan because of her courage and the fact that she believed in good."
Anne Frank's story
Frank was 13 when she and her family began hiding in a dark and damp "secret annex" of the house to escape the German roundup of Jews in Holland in July 1942. She never left the house for two years, spending much of her time writing in her diary, until she and her family were found and arrested by Nazis in August 1944.
Anne Frank died of typhus in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in March 1945. Her diary survived to tell her tragic and inspiring story.
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By Josh Levs and Alan Duke