A Mormon church may have posthumously baptized Anne Frank, a beloved and admired figure in Second World War history, a researcher has discovered.
Helen Radkey told The Associated Press that she found Frank’s name in baptism records from the Santo Domingo Temple in the Dominican Republic.
“I am a Holocaust survivor. It is so offensive in the sense that Holocaust victims were killed solely because they were Jews. And here comes the Mormon church taking away their Jewishness,” Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, told the Associated Press. “It’s like killing them twice.”
The discovery comes just days after Radkey uncovered Simon Wiesenthal’s parents on similar lists.
Wiesenthal is a famed Nazi hunter, Holocaust survivor and human rights advocate.
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The Church of Latter-day Saints reaffirmed its policies against proxy baptisms, and issued a statement admonishing anyone contravening that policy.
“The Church keeps its word and is absolutely firm in its commitment to not accept the names of Holocaust victims for proxy baptism,” the statement read, Reuters reported. “It is distressing when an individual willfully violates the church’s policy and something that should be understood to be an offering based on love and respect becomes a source of contention.”
The Dominican church couldn’t confirm it had baptized Frank, spokesperson Larry Blair said.
If it did happen, “it was a mistake,” he told the AP.
A proxy baptism is when someone stands in for the dead person. Mormons believe it grants the dead eternal peace.
Frank and her sister died of typhus in 1945 inside a Nazi concentration camp. The Nazis found the family hiding in an Amsterdam attic. Frank’s surviving family published her diary in 1947, and many say the book symbolizes the plight of Jews during the early part of the 20th century.
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