A Muslim former beauty queen is playing Anne Frank in a new stage production in Germany.
Asli Bayram, a daughter of Turkish immigrants who won Germany’s national beauty pageant in 2005, has since turned to acting and plays Anne Frank in a one-woman show that opened this week in Frankfurt.
According to the Israeli newspaper Yediot Achronot, the tale of the Jewish teenager who documented her family’s doomed efforts to hide from the Nazis during World War II holds special resonance for Bayram: Her father was shot dead by a German right-wing extremist when she was 14, an attack that she witnessed and which left her seriously wounded.
“By means of my work I want to prevent such terrible things, and to act against extremist ideology,” Yediot quoted Bayram, now 26 and also a law-school graduate, as saying.
“People must always be reminded that they have to keep an eye on what goes on around them, to prevent such phenomena,” she added.
Bayram’s portrayal of Anne Frank has been received warmly by Germany’s Jewish community as well as professional drama critics, Yediot reported.