The Simon Wiesenthal Center said they fear an organized anti-Semetic effort is behind the shocking tearing-up of copies of The Diary of Anne Frank in libraries across Japan.
Hundreds of copies of the famous book have been vandalized at about two dozen libraries in metropolitan Tokyo.
Anne Frank’s diary is popular in Japan, with anime adaptations of her story and comic books only increasing Japanese fascination with her story.
“The geographic scope of these incidents strongly suggest an organized effort to denigrate the memory of the most famous of the 1.5 million Jewish children murdered by the Nazis in the World War II Holocaust,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
“I know from my many visits to Japan, how much Anne Frank is studied and revered by millions of Japanese. 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,” Cooper continued.
“We are calling on Japanese authorities to step up efforts to identify and deal with the perpetrators of this hate campaign.”
The libraries include ones in Tokyo’s Nakano, Nerima and Suginami wards, according to Kyodo News. Pages in more than 200 copies of the books were ripped out, which was noticed by the Japan Library Association.