Japanese police Friday arrested a man suspected of tearing pages out of books written on Anne Frank. Police suspect the man is linked to the vandalism of more than 300 books related to the Holocaust, including the "The Diary of a Young Girl."
The suspect reportedly got into libraries in Suginami Ward February 5 and ripped pages from 23 books by Anne Frank.
Media outlets reported instances of vandalism at libraries across Tokyo. According to the TIME, "the 36-year-old suspect admitted to ripping the pages out of the books, but that his motive was unclear. They did not release the suspect’s name."
Reportedly, the police are investigating “if he was behind all the incidents of vandalism which have taken place in 38 libraries in western Tokyo since February.”
More than 300 copies of the Anne’s diary, including publications containing biographies of Anne Frank, Nazi persecution of Jews and other documents had been vandalised at different public libraries across Tokyo.
According to Japan Daily Press (JDP), “The issue has now gotten some unwanted international attention, with the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center – a Jewish human rights group – releasing a statement urging Japanese authorities get to the bottom of the issue. The issue has also been reported on by the New York-based Jewish Internet news service Tablet Magazine.”
The paper quoted Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga saying, “I can’t imagine what’s behind it. It is a regrettable and shameful thing that we as a nation cannot accept.”
Anne Frank's diary narrates the story of her family's struggle to escape Nazi atrocities during the Second World War before the Nazis sent them to death camps.
In her books, she documents her family’s experiences of hiding in concealed rooms during the German occupation of the Netherlands where they settled in 1933. Anne and her sister died of typhus in 1945.
Reportedly The Diary of a Young Girl was translated into Japanese in December 1952 and it featured in the bestseller lists in 1953.
The book was also added to the UN Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation's Memory of the World Register in 2009.
After reports on Anne Frank’s book vandalism emerged in Media, the Israeli embassy in Japan donated 300 copies of the diary to different libraries in Tokyo.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, “The Anne Frank House, a museum dedicated to the German Jew also donated 3,400 copies of its catalog to Japanese libraries.”