A few months after it was discovered that someone had been vandalizing books about Anne Frank in libraries around Tokyo, the Suginami Ward Central Library is now displaying the 40 books that have been donated from around the world. Most of the books have messages personally written from the donors, and people are now seeing them as a symbol of hope.
Anne Frank is probably the most famous of the Holocaust victims during World War II due to her diaries that were discovered in the house where she was hiding with her family in the Netherlands. A replica of the house, donated by a Dutch foundation, is also part of the display at the Tokyo library. One of the visitors at the exhibit said that it is “wonderful” to see people showing support and concern for what happened to the vandalized copies. One donor shared that their family members donated pocket change to be able to give a copy to the library. Another wrote, “A person who rips pages out of books cannot rip the hearts of the people who were moved by the books.”
More than 300 Anne Frank books, most of them from the Suginami Ward, had pages torn out of them by an unemployed man in his 30s who admitted to the crime. He said that he did it out of anger because “the diary was not written by Anne Frank herself.” The ward received 177 donated books and some of them were given to junior high schools in the area. The exhibit at the library will run until September 2, and according to a senior official, they are hoping that this will spread a message of peace and hope.
[ via Asahi ]
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