Wiesenthal Center: Reports that Suspect in Anne Frank Diary Desecrations was Motivated by Lie Spread by Holocaust Deniers and Neo-Nazis

March 11, 2014

Unclear that one unstable individual could have perpetrated all attacks in Tokyo and Yokohama

The Simon Wiesenthal Center expressed gratitude to Japanese authorities that their task-force efforts set up to deal with the recent desecrations of over 300 copies Anne Frank's Diary and related books in various public libraries in Tokyo and Yokohama (see photo for example) have resulted in the arrest of a suspect. However senior Wiesenthal Center official questions if all the attacks were the work of one man.

"We read with interest that Police have arrested an initial suspect. It remains unclear however, that only one person, described in media reports as unstable could have perpetrated all these attacks in Tokyo and Yokohama," said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Wiesenthal Center. "Further if as some reports indicate that the suspect told police he was motivated by his belief that Anne Frank Diary is a fraud, that is proof that he shares the big lie expressed and promoted by neo-Nazis, Holocaust deniers, and anti-Semites," Cooper added.

"Those who deny Anne Frank's words in reality are desecrating her memory and the memory of the 1.5 million other Jewish children were murdered by the Nazis during the Holocaust. This canard is all the more absurd, as the Nazi who arrested Anne Frank and her family in the secret attic in Amsterdam, SS Oberscharführer Karl Silberbauer, was later hunted down by Simon Wiesenthal and confessed his role in the helping to destroy the Frank family of which only Anne's father, Otto Frank, would survive," Cooper said.

"The Wiesenthal Center will continue to put its trust in the Japanese authorities as they continue their investigation into the multiple attempts to erase the words of a young girl whose words continue to inspire people around the world, including millions of Japanese," Rabbi Cooper concluded.

For more information, please contact the Center's Public Relations Department, 310-553-9036, join the Center on Facebook, www.facebook.com/simonwiesenthalcenter, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent direct to your Twitter page or mobile device.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).