265 Anne Frank books vandalized in Tokyo libraries
TOKYO — Anne Frank's “The Diary of a Young Girl” and scores of books about the young Holocaust victim have been vandalized in Tokyo public libraries since earlier this year.
The damage was mostly in the form of dozens of ripped pages in the books. Librarians have counted at least 265 damaged books at 31 municipal libraries since the end of January.
Japan and Nazi Germany were allies in World War II, and though Holocaust denial has occurred in Japan at times, the motive for damaging the Anne Frank books is unclear. Police are investigating.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga called the vandalism “shameful” and said Japan would not tolerate such acts.
In the Nakano district libraries, the vandals apparently damaged the books while unnoticed inside reading rooms, according to city official Mitsujiro Ikeda.
“Books related to Ms. Anne Frank are clearly targeted, and it's happening across Tokyo,” he said Friday. “It's outrageous.”
At another library, all the books that were damaged could have been found using the keywords “Anne Frank” in an online database.
At least one library has moved Anne Frank-related books behind the counter for protection, though they can still be checked out.
Anne Frank wrote her diary over the two years she and her family hid in a concealed apartment in Nazi-occupied Netherlands during World War II. After her family was betrayed and deported, she died in a German concentration camp at age 15 in 1945.
Her father survived and published her diary, which has become the most widely read document to emerge from the Holocaust.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a U.S.-based Jewish human rights organization, issued a statement calling the vandalism a hate campaign and urging authorities to step up efforts to find those responsible.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.