Daily Israel Report

Israeli Embassy Donates New Anne Frank Diaries

Copies of diary torn in Tokyo vandalism spree replaced by embassy, 300 copies to make up for 308 ruined books.
By Ari Yashar
First Publish: 2/26/2014, 4:13 PM

Anne Frank
Anne Frank
Reuters

In response to the acts of vandalism in Tokyo that left 121 copies of Anne Frank's "Diary of a Young Girl" ripped and defaced, the Israeli embassy in Japan pledged Wednesday to donate 300 new copies of the book to Tokyo libraries.

A total of 308 copies of the diary, biographies of Anne Frank, and books about the Holocaust were torn according to AFP, with the majority of the vandalism taking place in Tokyo's Suginami district. 11 of the district's 13 public libraries were hit by the vandalism spree.

According to the embassy, it will present the new copies to Suginami district's libraries on Thursday.

"We have offered the donation that can make up for the copies damaged," read an embassy statement. Frank's "diary is useful to deepen understanding of humanitarian views concerning the Holocaust and related incidents."

The embassy added its hopes that "the people who took the hideous action will be brought to justice."

Toshihiro Obayashi, deputy directory of Suginami district's central library, said "it was sad to see the books torn. But we are pleased to receive a warm offer that encourages us."

Anne Frank's diary documents the trials of her family as they tried to flee the Nazi genocide by escaping to the Netherlands. Eventually they were caught and sent to Nazi death camps, where Anne died in 1945.

The vandalism occurs amid warnings by some that Japan under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is steering the country towards the right. Last December Abe visited Yasukuni Shrine, a site enshrining Japan's war dead, including 14 Class-A war criminals. China and South Korea strongly condemned the visit.

During his visit, Abe announced "I chose this day to report [to the souls of the dead] what we have done in the year since the administration launched and to pledge and determine that never again will people suffer in war. It is not my intention at all to hurt the feelings of the Chinese and Korean people."

Japan has come into escalated conflict with rival China; aside from continued Chinese resentment against Japan for its conduct in World War II, the disputed Senkaku Islands have sparked confrontation, even leading fighter jets to be scrambled from both sides.