Japanese government officials announced hundreds of copies of Anne Frank's diary located in public libraries across the country have been vandalized.
"Officials finding 265 books in 31 libraries are damaged in some way. Government authorities say they aren't speculating on the motive just yet." (Via KXRM)
It's not clear who did the vandalizing, or when it took place. One Tokyo library director is outraged about the pages that have been torn out of the diaries and other books about the Jewish Holocaust, making most of them unreadable.
"These books are a common asset; they're intellectual property that belong to residents and library users. So to inflict damage on that, I think, is unforgivable."
Anne Frank wrote her diary during the two years she and her family hid in a concealed apartment in Amsterdam. Her family was later betrayed, arrested and sent to a concentration camp. The 15-year-old died of typhus just weeks before the war ended in 1945. (Via KABC)
Her father, Otto Frank, survived and had her diary published. Since then "Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl" has become one of the most widely-read books about the Holocaust. (Via Bantam / Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl)
Japan and Nazi Germany were allies in World War II and The New York Times notes since then many Japanese books and publications have been written claiming a "Jewish conspiracy was behind various historical events" during the war.
On the other hand, a Japanese history expert told the BBC Japan comes in second behind the U.S. in terms of the number of copies of the teenager's book sold. He added many saw the story as symbolism for the struggle of youth for survival. (Via BBC)
In a press conference on Friday, Japan's chief cabinet secretary said the vandalism is shameful and that police will be investigating.
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