A temple of the Mormon church reportedly baptised Anne Frank last Saturday. The news was brought to the attention of the US media by researcher Helen Radkey on Tuesday. Mormons believe that if you baptise people posthumously their souls can go to heaven.
There has been a lot of commotion about the practice of baptising the dead in the past. In 1995, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as the church is officially known, agreed with Jewish leaders to end the practice of baptism by proxy. But it still goes on, last month the parents of Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal were baptised.
According to the Huffington Post, Anne Frank has been baptised nine times by proxy under different versions of her name. This time the ritual took place in the Dominican Republic. It is the first time in over ten years that it has happened. The website says in response to the news, the Mormons have reiterated their commitment not to baptise Holocaust victims. Ms Radkey thinks the church will now erase its record of the baptism as it has done in previous cases.
Anne Frank died in the Nazi concentration camp of Bergen Belsen in 1945 at the age of 15. She was originally German but lost her nationality as all German Jews did during the war. Her family fled to the Netherlands to avoid persecution but were forced to go into hiding when Jews began being deported to concentration camps. Eventually the family were betrayed and sent to various camps. Anne’s father was the only member of the family to survive the war. Shortly before going into hiding Anne began keeping a diary given to her on her thirteenth birthday. The diary of Anne Frank has since been published in many different languages and the secret annex has become a museum.
The reports of the baptism are not good news for Mitt Romney, who is campaigning to become the Republican presidential candidate for next year’s elections. He is under heavy scrutiny because of his connection with the church.
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