By Micah Halpern
I’ve Been Thinking:
Anti-Semitism can be found anyplace … even places without Jews and without a history of Jews or Jew hatred … even in Japan.
308 copies of Anne Frank’s diary were vandalized and destroyed in Japan. The vandals also destroyed entries on Anne Frank in reference books. The damage was so pervasive, it was found in 11 of the 13 public libraries in the capital city Tokyo.
Israel has just donated 300 new copies of Anne’s book “Diary of a Young Girl”. It is without a doubt the most famous book on the Holocaust ever published. It chronicles the life of a young girl in hiding with her family in a tiny secret room in Amsterdam.
The journal was never completed - neighbors informed the Nazis about the family and they were taken away to the notorious concentration camp Bergen Belsen where Anne died.
Anne Frank’s thought and insights belie her young age and pre-War insulated upbringing. She asks and ponders the role of good and evil. She contemplates love and the importance of family. More than anything, Anne yearns for freedom.
An investigation is going on in Japan. It is very clear from the number of books destroyed that this was a carefully planned calculated attempt to rid Japan’s public libraries and information centers of one of the most important first hand testimonies of the Holocaust.
That is deeply disturbing.
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