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265 Anne Frank books vandalized in Tokyo libraries

TOKYO (AP) - 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.

The New York-based Anti-Defamation League, a civil rights group fighting anti-Semitism, praised Suga's remarks.

The league's national director, Abraham Foxman, called for a full investigation and asked Japan's government " to carefully consider if this act of disrespect for the memory of the millions of Jewish victims who lost their lives in the Holocaust requires a new look at educational initiatives regarding the Holocaust and anti-Semitism."

He said that while there has been some history of "journalistic and literary anti-Semitism in Japan, these kinds of incidents are in fact quite rare."

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.

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ae12wrangell February 21 2014 at 11:33 PM

That's terrible.

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camjnbp February 22 2014 at 11:59 AM

the book is a complete work of fiction anyway.

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andrsbckly February 22 2014 at 10:25 AM

It's may be a reaction to the fact that about 90% of this book was not written by anne; not that I support destroying books...but most of the book was written by several authors, who were paid by her father. Certain aspects of the book were found to be total fiction, and I won't go into that because I would have to fill several paragraphs to point out the many fallacies. Don't take my word for it, do a web search...and no, I am not a 'neo-nazi'.

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1 reply
change my screen andrsbckly February 22 2014 at 3:27 PM

yes you are.

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senseilott February 22 2014 at 9:41 AM

Before you start ripping Japan as being anti-semitic, try getting both sides of the story. Just two books, which would be a good start, are "The Fugu Plan" by Marvin Tokayer and Mary Swartz, and "Righteous and Courageous" by Carl L. Steinhouse. The Japanese military did some monstrous things during WWII, but the Japanese as a people are not monsters. The truth in this matter will come out.

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BIG-TARGET February 22 2014 at 2:23 AM

Tearing up books is wrong!!

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alfredschrader February 22 2014 at 11:47 AM

It's sad. Show some respect.
You know what it looks like ? "Ok hold on a minute I need a piece of scrap paper. Okay, go ahead. Sea Biscuit in the 4th, Wallies walow in the 5th, Sponge Bob in the 8th. Okay, got it".
Luckily books can be re-printed.

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Mr. Rockafeller February 22 2014 at 12:16 PM

I am against destroying stuff regarless. And lov the jewish people. But Anne's book I find so boaring. I was forced to read it in school that is probably why I hate it. also , I was forced to read Ulysses in school another book I HATE even more than Ann's. I dont know why schools choose works by troubled folk to read as if life is not bad enough as it is without having to read about sad stories. And then when you are a kid it makes it even worse b/c you dont know how to understand certain things therefore the read becomes even more like a death trap of sorts

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Pearl February 22 2014 at 8:42 AM

This is so malicious and nasty, every effort should be made to catch the persons responsible, then, they should be ripped to pieces as well.

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cbp1224 February 22 2014 at 7:47 AM

that's what we get for rebuilding Japan, should have left them in the dust.

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Blanche February 22 2014 at 10:14 AM

There are still a lot of people that don't believe that holocaust really happened. It is something that white supremacists deny all across America. The Japanese libraries are taking the right step by putting all of the books behind the counter where they can't get vandalized. Nobody should be allowed to handle them unless they have an ID. That should stop the vandalism, but it is scary that someone with that much hate is lurking around.

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