Hundreds of Copies of Anne Frank’s Diary Vandalized in Japan

Early press reports had people blaming the vandalism on foreigners, saying Japanese could never commit such a crime. While we wait for the guilty parties to be named, the response from within Japan and overseas has been encouraging, as volunteered copies of the books have arrived.


Japan’s slide to the political right appeared to take an alarming new twist with the discovery this month of hundreds of vandalized copies of the famed diary by Holocaust victim Anne Frank.

So far, more than 300 copies of The Diary of a Young Girl and other books related to Frank have been found with pages torn out or slashed at public libraries throughout Tokyo. Although no one has claimed responsibility, suspicion has fallen on conservative or rightist elements that have been pushing a revisionist view of Japan’s wartime and colonial history.

Officials in southern Japan were heavily criticized overseas this month for submitting farewell letters and other documents from World War II kamikaze pilots for inclusion in the UNESCO register of world cultural heritage.

The Frank diary, which chronicles the life of a young Jewish girl as she and her family hid from the Nazis, was added to the…

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