Is This the Most Offensive Costume of the Halloween Season?

October 31 is nearly here, which means it's time again for candy corn, haunted houses, tricks, treats and wildly inappropriate Halloween getups. This year's frontrunner for most offensive costume goes to “Anne Frank Girl,” featured on HalloweenCostumes.com. The costume includes a dress, beret and felt shoulder bag.


“A young girl like Anne Frank with nothing but a diary and hope could become an inspiration to us all,” the site proclaims.

Social media wasted no time in letting the website have it, and the outfit has since been pulled from its virtual shelves.

“Why would anyone want to ‘dress up’ as Anne Frank, a young girl murdered by the Nazis, for Halloween?” Karen Pollock, who heads the Holocaust Educational Trust, told the Jewish Chronicle. “It is utterly inappropriate, offensive and quite simply beggars belief. The Holocaust is not a joke—this company needs to have a serious rethink.”

Ross Walker Smith, a spokesperson for the site, posted a mea culpa on Twitter attempting to explain the company’s reasoning, such as it was.

“We sell costumes not only for Halloween, but for many uses outside of the Halloween season, such as school projects and plays. We offer several types of historically accurate costumes—from prominent figures to political figures, to television characters,” Smith wrote. “We take feedback from customers very seriously...We apologize for any offense [the costume] has caused, as that’s never our intention.”

Although the costume is no longer available from the site, other retailers continue to sell it, as well as a similar outfit under the name “Child's WWII Evacuee Girl Costume.”

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close