Frank was betrayed and handed over to the Nazis while hiding in the Netherlands between 1942 and 1944, and her diary became one of the most heavily examined historical sources of the period.
The website, which also delivers to Israel, advertized a costume labelled “WW2 Costume for Girls.” However, the URL reads “girls-anne-frank-costume.html” and the costume can also be found by searching for her name on the site.
While the American site attempted to disguise the URL with a different label on the site, the European, Canadian, Australian and British versions of the site are less discreet, featuring a picture of a girl clad in WWII-style clothes next to the title: “Anne Frank Costume for girls.”
The costumes in Europe can be purchased for 14-24 Euros, while in Canada the sinister costumes are on sale for $19-32.
This year wasn't the first time such a costume went on sale. Consumers complained about the insensitive branding and sale at the beginning of the current decade as well.
The costume was described as “the worst costume of all time” by The Blaze website, which also displayed the costume’s packaging.
“It seems every year Halloween costumes get more tasteless and more controversial. This year’s winner might just be the ‘World War II Evacuee’ costume for young girls,” The Blaze wrote.
According to one manufacturing company called Girls Fantasy, “all that is missing here is a yellow star.”
As a result of the ensuing furor, a British blogger named Nick Douglas sought to defend the sale of the costume, insisting it had its origin in British educational tradition and that it actually has no connection to Halloween.
Douglas claimed that as part of an educational day called “Evacuation Day,” British kids are asked to dress up as British children of the Second World War to help them feel greater empathy toward those who suffered during its course.
While Douglas is correct, as demonstrated by a simple Google search for “evacuee costume,” he was not able to explain why the site had explicitly named its costume after the Jewish girl who was murdered by the Nazis.
One of the site representatives on the chat forum of the halloweencostumes website, which is responsible for the tasteless sale, said he was unable to answer a question on the matter when asked directly, claiming he was not authorized to act as a spokesperson for the company.
After being referred to the customer service of the company, Ynet was told: “This is the Second World War. These are costumes that are similar to what was worn then. It doesn’t portray anything, it is the style of clothes at the time.”
When asked why the costume was called “Anne Frank” on the site, the representative shirked responsibility: “I don’t make decisions, and anyone who answers you here has been working here for two months and helps people buy. It isn’t something I can change. If you call here, no one will help you. You can send a complaint via mail.”