Dozens of copies of the “Diary of Anne Frank” have been vandalized in Tokyo.
More than 100 copies of the famous Holocaust work were torn up at Japanese libraries, though the culprit has not yet been identified.
“We don’t know why this happened or who did it,” said Satomi Murata, head of Japan’s library council, to the AFP. At least five Tokyo libraries have noticed vandalized editions of the book on their shelves.
“Each and every book which comes up under the index of Anne Frank has been damaged at our library,” said Toshihiro Obayashi, a library official in West Tokyo’s Suginsami area.
Meanwhile, Jewish groups spoke out against the desecration, calling it “shocking and shameful.”
“The deliberate targeting of Anne Frank’s diary is a shocking and shameful act that goes well beyond vandalism of property and represents a brazen act of hate towards Jews,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. “This type of targeted vandalism shows that unabashed acts of anti-Semitism still exist in far corners of the world, even in places where there are few Jews.”
“The geographic scope of these incidents strongly suggest an organized effort to denigrate the memory of the most famous of the 1.5 million Jewish children murdered by the Nazis in the World War II Holocaust,” added Simon Wiesenthal Center Associate Dean Abraham Cooper.
Japan has a historically positive reception to Anne Frank and Holocaust history in general. It is the only East Asian nation with memorials and a museum in Anne Frank’s honor.