Two months jail for man convicted over antisemitic statement on Anne Frank House

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – A Dutch court on Thursday sentenced a man to two months in jail for projecting a message by laser onto the Anne Frank House Museum in Amsterdam that suggested Frank’s diary was a forgery or that she had not written it.

The court convicted Robert Wilson, a 42-year-old Canadian who lives in Poland, of projecting the message which it called “a form of Holocaust-denial that is extremely grieving to victims and their relatives”.

The words projected onto the building on the evening of Feb 6, 2023, referred to Frank as “the inventor of the ballpoint pen”, a reference to debunked conspiracy theories about her diary.

“Considering the important symbolical meaning of Anne Frank’s diary for the remembrance of the Holocaust, this statement can be seen as a form of Holocaust-denial,” the district court of Amsterdam said.

Frank, who was Jewish, wrote her diary from July 1942 to August 1944 while in hiding with her family in a cramped secret space above a canal-side warehouse. The museum where the message was projected is now located at the spot.

Frank and her family were captured by Nazis and she died at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945, aged 15. Her diary is one of the most important documents to have emerged from the Holocaust.

Wilson already spent three months in a Dutch jail awaiting his verdict and was released earlier this month. He will not have to return to jail as his sentence is shorter than the time he has already served.

(Reporting by Bart Meijer; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)