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Hundreds of Anne Frank books defaced in Tokyo libraries

Arts and CultureCrime, Law and JusticeVandalismCrimeTokyo (Japan)LiteratureLibraries

Vandals have been systematically defacing copies of books by and about Anne Frank in public libraries in Tokyo, according to Japanese media reports Friday.

More than 250 copies Anne Frank's "The Diary of a Young Girl" and other books about the Dutch Holocaust diarist have reportedly been found with pages ripped out at 31 public libraries across the city since January. "Books related to Ms. Anne Frank are clearly targeted, and it's happening across Tokyo," city official Mitsujiro Ikeda told the Associated Press. "It's outrageous."

The vandals apparently damaged the books after taking them into reading rooms. Chief Cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga told journalists: “This is a shameful act, and I am confident that the police authority is making a thorough investigation.”

Representatives of the Simon Wiesenthal Center called on Japanese officials to identify the vandals and take action.

"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," said Rabbi Abraham Cooper.

Undamaged copies of the book, which is part of the syllabus in many Japanese schools, have been removed from the shelves of many libraries in Tokyo, the Telegraph reported.

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hector.tobar@latimes.com

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