Anne Frank's 'Diary of a Young Girl' defaced in Tokyo libraries

Feb. 21, 2014 at 1:26 PM

TOKYO, Feb. 21 (UPI) -- Hundreds of copies of Anne Frank's "Diary of a Young Girl" and other books were vandalized in libraries across Tokyo, library officials said Friday.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a global Jewish rights organization based in Los Angeles, expressed "shock and deep concern over the vandalization" and called for an investigation, Kyodo News reported.

"The geographic scope of these incidents strongly [suggests] an organized effort to denigrate the memory of the most famous of the 1.5 million Jewish children murdered by the Nazis," the center's Abraham Cooper said in a statement. "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."

At least 265 copies of the book have been damaged at 31 libraries since January, Kyodo news service said.

Cooper said he knows from his visits to Japan "how much Anne Frank is studied and revered by millions of Japanese."

The center called upon Japanese authorities to "identify the vandals and deal with the perpetrators of this hate campaign," Cooper said.

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