Libraries across Tokyo have found hundreds of copies of the “Diary of a Young Girl” by Anne Frank and related books vandalized, library officials said Friday, prompting a U.S. Jewish group to call for a probe.
The damage to at least 265 copies of the book has been reported at 31 libraries since January.
One of the libraries said copies of the diary by the Jewish girl who lived in Amsterdam during the Holocaust, appeared to have had pages cut while stored on an open shelf.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Los Angeles-based global Jewish rights organization, expressed “shock and deep concern over the vandalization” in its statement, with Associate Dean Abraham Cooper saying, “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.
“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,” Cooper added, while noting his awareness that Anne Frank “is studied and revered by millions of Japanese.”