Japan Mystery: Anne Frank's Diary Torn Apart

'We don't know why this happened or who did it,' says library council head
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 21, 2014 8:30 AM CST
Japan Mystery: Anne Frank's Diary Torn Apart
Ripped copies of Anne Frank's "Diary of a Young Girl" and related books are shown at Shinjuku City Library in Tokyo Friday, Feb. 21, 2014.   (AP Photo/Koji Ueda)

(Newser) – More than 100 copies of Anne Frank's The Diary of a Young Girl, plus many other related works that make mention of her or the Holocaust, have been ripped apart recently in Tokyo—the capital of a country where sales of the diary are second only to those in the US. Per Kyodo News, some 265 books in total have been vandalized at 31 libraries since last month, with one library describing its affected books as "unusable" after some 10 to 20 pages were torn from them. A library worker in West Tokyo adds, "Each and every book which comes up under the index of Anne Frank has been damaged at our library."

The Simon Wiesenthal Center has called for an investigation, and points out that "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." For now, "we don't know why this happened or who did it," Japan's library council head tells the AFP. A BBC correspondent points out that Japan has neither a history of Jewish settlement nor a history of anti-Semitism. (In much more positive news, some of Anne Frank's toys have been recovered.)

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