New York, NY, February 21, 2014…The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today expressed concern that hundreds of copies of literature written by and about Anne Frank, the most internationally known Holocaust victim, were vandalized in public libraries across Tokyo.
More than 200 copies of “The Diary of Anne Frank” and other books related to her life and death were damaged since late January.
“The deliberate targeting of Anne Frank’s diary is a shocking and shameful act that goes well beyond vandalism of property and represents a brazen act of hate towards Jews,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. “This type of targeted vandalism shows that unabashed acts of anti-Semitism still exist in far corners of the world, even in places where there are few Jews.”
Mr. Foxman added, “While there has been some history of journalistic and literary anti-Semitism in Japan, these kinds of incidents are in fact quite rare.”
In a letter to Kenichiro Sasae, Japanese Ambassador to the United States, ADL praised remarks by chief cabinet secretary and government spokesperson Yoshihide Suga condemning the acts as “regrettable and shameful.” Mr. Foxman called for a full investigation and asked the government of Japan “to carefully consider if this act of disrespect for the memory of the millions of Jewish victims who lost their lives in the Holocaust requires a new look at educational initiatives regarding the Holocaust and anti-Semitism.”
ADL has worked closely with the government of Japan to recognize and celebrate the actions of Chiune Sugihara, who saved thousands of Jews during the Holocaust while he served as the Japanese Consul to Lithuania.