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Israel to give copies of Anne Frank book to Tokyo libraries


The Israeli embassy in Japan said Wednesday it would donate 300 copies of Anne Frank's "Diary of a Young Girl" to Tokyo libraries after hundreds of copies were damaged.

News of the defacement of the books, which tells the tale of a young Jewish girl who fell victim to the Holocaust, sent shockwaves worldwide and sparked alarm amid a rightward shift in Japan's politics.

The embassy and the Jewish Community of Japan will present the copies on Thursday to the capital's residential ward of Suginami, whose libraries were a main target of the vandalism, embassy officials said.

"We have offered the donation that can make up for the copies damaged," the embassy said in a statement.

"Her diary is useful to deepen understanding of humanitarian views concerning the Holocaust and related incidents," it said. "We believe that the people who took the hideous action will be brought to justice."

Local media said pages in at least 308 copies of the diary, or in publications containing biographies of Anne Frank, Nazi persecution of Jews and related material had been torn.

A total of 121 books were damaged at 11 of 13 public libraries in Suginami, a library official said.

"It was sad to see the books torn," said Toshihiro Obayashi, deputy director of the central library in the Suginami area.

"But we are pleased to receive a warm offer that encourages us," Obayashi told AFP.

The diary, written by a Jewish girl who lived in Amsterdam during the time of the Holocaust, was added to the U.N. Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation's Memory of the World Register in 2009.

Anne Frank, a German Jew born in Frankfurt in 1929, documented her family's experiences hiding in concealed rooms during the German occupation of the Netherlands where they settled in 1933.

They were caught and sent to Nazi concentration camps. Anne and her sister died of typhus in 1945.

Japan does not have a very big Jewish community.

In 1995, a Japanese physician was censured by the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the Israeli embassy for writing in a domestic monthly magazine that the gas chambers Nazis used to exterminate Jews in concentration camps did not exist.

The publisher of the magazine "Marco Polo" discontinued its publication and fired its editor.

© (c) 2014 AFP

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Thanks , Israel, nice gesture, and now, for people working in Japan libraries , you cant let this happen again, it would be disastrous .

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Hope all libraries installed spy cameras. Many people have that in their homes in my area and they say it is cheap now.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

It still baffles me why someone would have even done this in the first place? Its so strange how much Anne represents different things to different people.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

No update on the culprits?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

JoshuYakiFeb. 27, 2014 - 08:04AM JST

It still baffles me why someone would have even done this in the first place? Its so strange how much Anne represents different things to different people.

thats correct, not everyone just believes the mass media and doing their own research on the matter of jewish history. most people wouldnt have a clue what is really going on there.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

As it should be.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Very nice gesture on their half. Hopefully the libraries keep the books secured and loan them out upon request to prevent this from happening again in the future. I really hope they catch the nutjob(s) who did this pathetic crime.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

what's the connection between japanese right-wingers and defacing The Diary of Anne Frank? I mean, why would people suppose that the right-wingers are behind this? i think in general those guys aren't really that concerned about the holocaust and are focused only on matters relating to japan.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I'm going to venture a guess that the individual(s) who tore the pages out from Anne Frank's diary had never even read it. And we may never know who did this.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The publisher of the magazine “Marco Polo” discontinued its publication and fired its editor.

If you're looking for some real irony, the publisher of "Marco Polo" magazine, Bungeishunju-sha, was and still is the publisher of the Japanese translation of "Diary of a Young Girl."

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Good move from Israel.

I hope the libraries keep the copies on request behind the counter for at least some time.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Finding culprits would be difficult (for the past cases), because the last person who checked out the book could of been completely innocent (someone else before them, or even before them could of vandalized the books). Hopefully, good, VERIFIABLE contact information was submitted when they got their library card. Doubts are that not great record keeping.

In the future, I agree that these books might be better as a requested book behind a counter where someone needs to be verified or signed for it. But then you get into the conflict of openness and freedoms. I hope they capture the people responsible so it doesn't turn that way.

0 ( +0 / -0 )


" I hope the libraries keep the copies on request behind the counter for at least some time. "

Absolutely not. Why would you give in to the nutcase, instead of trying to catch him?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hopefully this isn't too cooky for you all, but I wouldn't be surprised if this was done by Chinese operatives timing this to coincide with Xi Jingping's visit to Germany (who requested to visit holocaust memorials during his visit but was denied) all while Chinese lawmakers at home declare national days for Nanjing Massacre, and Japan's defeat at home. Seems like if all 3 had been pulled off in unison, it would have been a fantastic synergistic propaganda move that would equate Japan to Nazi Germany in the eyes of the International community in order to prime the pump for China's next move.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Hope Japanese LEA will catch the culpit(s) very soon. I strongly hope all public places should have 'eyes in sky".

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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