Publisher halts Anne Frank book after criticism

Originally published at: Publisher halts Anne Frank book after criticism | Boing Boing


This stuff makes me think of all those self-appointed cold-case investigators who think they’ve puzzled out who Jack the Ripper was, except that baseless accusations against Jewish victims of the holocaust have far more vile real-world consequences than baseless accusations against some public figure who died in the 19th Century.


All I see is people trying to make a buck off of others tragedy.


It was the butler.


As I said in the earlier topic, there are unfortunately all too many likely suspects to come to a definite conclusion. Absent clear documentary evidence (which these authros didn’t have) it’s just guesswork.


In the conservatory, with the lead pipe?


Aw, the 60 Minutes episode on this was absolutely glowing. You could not have asked for a puffier puff piece. Smiles all around and absolutely no questions that couldn’t have been formulated by the book publisher’s PR department. Plus, the teasers were so confident that AI had cracked the case, then with a whimper not a bang, they admit at the very end, they’ve no idea who did it, that no one will ever know.


Unintended or not, 60 Minutes added a patina of authority to the research when they aired the story.

Many years ago, they aired a “feel-good” story about a highly paid, top executive in NYC who decided to quit his job in order to help orphaned street boys in Brazil. While watching that report with my mom, both of us shared the same suspicion… one that was born out years later when it was reported that the ex-exec was sexually abusing the boys.

I suppose it’s easy to jump the gun when one must put out a couple or so significant primetime reports each week… but c’mon.


Historian and author Hallie Rubenhold made an interesting podcast series (based on her own book The Five), focusing on the unexamined lives of Jack the Ripper’s victims instead of vainly trying to identify the killer. Turns out many of his down and out victims were probably homeless rather than prostitutes, as alleged by the police and the gutter press. An interesting piece of social history. Rubenhold also had a few run-ins with these modern amateur sleuths, aka Ripperologists.


And were likely just unmarried women who simply happened to have jobs.

I’m definitely going to check out that podcast. But IIRC less homeless than, I dunno maybe itinerant? Basically living in temporary spaces and boarding houses, working whatever job was available to pay for a space to live each day or each week. It seems to have been a very common thing, particularly among women, in the English lower classes at the time.

Though several them had fixed addresses at the time in question. It doesn’t quite match our modern conception of homelessness. Any more than some of them occasionally engaging in sex work out of necessity matches the popular image of all the victims as “street walkers”.

There’s a long history of labelling female victims as sex workers if they happen to have jobs, ever go out for a drink, or are single and dating or divorce/separated.

That was a major issue with the Peter Sutcliffe case. Referred to by papers as the Yorkshire Ripper, largely on basis of the supposed similarity to Jack the Ripper among the victims.

While Sutfcliffe did attack sex workers. Most of his victims were just single women, who had the gall to work and occasionally be in a bar. The West Yorkshire Police just went and assumed they were all sex workers. Bought into and catered to the sensationalism. Which caused them to repeatedly run across Sutcliffe but just let him go. While they pursued “public safety” measures like putting a curfew on all women. Problem solved all lady’s home by dark!

He was eventually arrested at traffic check point, for having fake plates on his car. And somebody finally had the bright idea to question him. He got caught almost by happenstance. With a potential victim in car at the time.

After a decade of assaults, rapes, and murders.

The recent Netflix doc on the case, The Ripper, was quite good. It likewise focuses on the victims themselves and their circumstances. Along with the absolute failure of the Police to investigate or deal with the crimes, and the over all social situation fueling it all.

They don’t neccisarily address it. But you can easily see how carefully that case was wedged into the Jack the Ripper framing to sell papers, and how badly doing that fucked the whole thing up.


In Victorian times, being a a single woman and having a job were almost mutually exclusive. The women in question were teetering on the edge of homelessness rather than homeless - I could have phrased that more precisely - but they were struggling on a daily basis to get enough money to pay for a single night’s board.

And yes, it’s sad to see how police sexism - and its negative impact on police work - continues unabated in the 20th and 21st century.


great, they pulled the book. but not before this “revelation” made news world wide and the damage was done.


It will soon be forgotten, just like all of the “definitive” answers on the identity of Jack the Ripper or the Zodiac Killer that have come and gone.

Not to my understanding.

Higher up the socio-economic ladder unmarried women frequently worked as household servants.

Employment in laundries, dying, textiles and the like was normal, even for married women among the impoverished. Work was a necessity to live. If a woman wasn’t married to a man who made enough to to carry the whole family, they would need to seek work of some sort.

There just wasn’t really much in the way of stable or gainful employment to be had for women of that class.

But like “regularly sleeps indoors, often in the same place for a bit” doesn’t really equate to “has home”.

Working and having a job does not for these women equate to having a career or stable employment.

These women seem to have floated to whatever work was available, regardless of whether it paid enough. Might be digging through the gutters to find things worth selling. Several of the Ripper victims sold shellfish as street vendors, when they could afford to buy shellfish to resell. At least one of them was known flower vendor in the area. Many of them did laundry work, or mending as available. Sorta the go to for impoverished women of all sorts. Some of them did cleaning work at the boarding houses and taverns where they occasionally slept, sometimes just in exchange for a place to sleep.

So like you said, teetering.


His name was Oswald. Butler Oswald.

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