Andrea Stone of The Huffington Post reports:
Anne Frank, the Jewish girl whose diary and death in a Nazi concentration camp made her a symbol of the Holocaust, was allegedly baptized posthumously Saturday by a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, according to whistleblower Helen Radkey, a former member of the church.
The ritual was conducted in a Mormon temple in the Dominican Republic, according to Radkey, a Salt Lake City researcher who investigates such incidents, which violate a 2010 pact between the Mormon Church and Jewish leaders.
Radkey noted that the latest baptism of Frank by proxy is especially egregious, because she was an unmarried teenager who left no descendants. Mormon officials have stressed that church members are only supposed to submit the names of their ancestors, in accordance with the agreements.
Radkey said she discovered that Annelies Marie “Anne” Frank, who died at Bergen Belsen death camp in 1945 at age 15, was baptized by proxy on Saturday. Mormons have submitted versions of her name at least a dozen times for proxy rites and carried out the ritual at least nine times from 1989 to 1999, according to Radkey. But Radkey says this is the first time in more than a decade that Frank’s name has been discovered in a database that can be used both for genealogy and also to submit a deceased person’s name to be considered for proxy baptism — a separate process, according to a spokesman for the church. The database is only open to Mormons.
A screen shot of the database sent by Radkey shows a page for Frank stating “completed” next to categories labeled “Baptism” and “Confirmation,” with the date Feb. 18, 2012, and the name of the Santo Domingo Dominican Republic Temple.
This follows Moni Basu’s CNN article covering last week’s apology from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for “a serious breach of protocol” in which the parents of the late Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal were posthumously baptized as Mormons.
The church also acknowledged that three relatives of Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel were entered into the genealogy database, though not referred for baptism.
CNN’s Religion Editor Dan Gilgoff reports the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints says it is committed to disciplining members of its church who conducted such baptisms, which violate church policy:
“It takes a good deal of deception and manipulation to get an improper submission through the safeguards we have put in place,” the church said in a statement Tuesday, responding to the report about the Anne Frank baptism.
“The Church keeps its word and is absolutely firm in its commitment to not accept the names of Holocaust victims for proxy baptism,” the church’s Tuesday statement said.
The church said it is “committed to taking action against individual abusers by suspending the submitter’s access privileges,” the statement continued. “We will also consider whether other Church disciplinary action should be taken.”