In Tokyo, hundreds of copies of The Diary of Anne Frank have been vandalized in more than 30 libraries. Scores of pages were ripped out of at least 265 books; city official Mitsujiro Ikeda said that in the Nakano district libraries, the damage was done inside reading rooms. He added, “Books related to Ms. Anne Frank are clearly targeted, and it’s happening across Tokyo. It’s outrageous.” Japan was an ally of Nazi Germany in World War II.
Anne Frank’s diary was written while she hid with her family for two years in an apartment in Nazi-occupied Netherlands during World War II. She was later deported to a German concentration camp, Bergen-Belsen, where she died at age 15 in 1945.
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, said:
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. I know from my many visits to Japan, how much Anne Frank is studied and revered by millions of Japanese. Only people imbued with bigotry and hatred would seek to destroy Anne’s historic words of courage, hope and love in the face of impending doom. We are calling on Japanese authorities to step up efforts to identify and deal with the perpetrators of this hate campaign.