In a bit he recently repeated on The Daily Show, British comedian Ricky Gervais jokes that the Nazis must have been incompetent if it took them two years to find Anne Frank’s hiding place.
Dan Bloom, who calls himself the Taiwan bureau chief for the San Diego Jewish World, is trying to make hay out of this. Writing for Britain’s Jewish Chronicle, he calls the joke “genteel British antisemitic snark” and asks Gervais to “leave Anne Frank out of your comedy routines.”
Ricky Gervais has a sensible response in the JC. He says his routine about Anne Frank would be “highly offensive” if taken at face value. Instead, the routine is really “about the misunderstanding and ignorance of what is clearly a tragic and horrific situation. My comic persona is that of a man who speaks with great arrogance and authority but who along the way reveals his immense stupidity.”
I saw the bit and clearly the joke is on people whose emphatically stated opinions are worthless. If anything, it is a joke about historical ignorance, and, how banal stupidity, and not just revisionism, threatens to erase Holocaust memory.
I hope Dan Bloom doesn’t read Shalom Auslander’s new novel, in which a foul-mouthed Anne Frank ends up surviving and living in an attic in upstate New York. His head will explode.
UPDATE: I have just figured out how to increase traffic to this site: Mention Dan Bloom. See comments.