Poem Written by Anne Frank Sells for $148,000 at Auction
The rare poem written by Anne Frank sells for $148,000 at auction.
Anne Frank was a German-born diarist and writer and one of the most famous Jewish victims of the Holocaust. She gained popularity after the publication of her diaries.
Originally named Het Achterhuis; English: The Secret Annex, the Diary of a Young Girl documents her life in hiding from 1942 to 1944, during the German occupation of the Netherlands in WWII.
Her diaries have been one of the world’s most famous books and have been the source of several plays and films.
After losing her German citizenship in 1941 she became stateless and by the 1940 she was already trapped in Amsterdam by the German occupation of the Netherlands.
She and her Jewish family went into hiding in come concealed rooms behind a bookcase in the building where her father worked.
In 1944, after her family was arrested by the Gestapo, she kept a diary she has received as birthday present and wrote in it on a daily basis.
Then she and her sister were transferred to Bergan-Belsen concentration camp from Auschwitz, where they died lately in February (according to new research).
Her father, Otto, the only survivor of the family, returned to Amsterdam after the war and found out that her diary had been saved by one of the helpers, Miep Gies. He then decided to publish it in 1947.
It was translated from its original Dutch version and first published in English in 1952 as The Diary of a Young Girl, and has since been translated into over 60 languages.
A poem handwritten by the same Jewish girl, who kept a diary of two years spent in hiding from the Nazis, was sold at an auction.
An online bidder spent $148,000 for Anne Frank’s poem at the Bubb Kyuper auction house in Haarlem, a Dutch city.
“Over the last 40 years, only four or five documents signed by the teenager have gone under the hammer,” Thijs Blankevoort, the auction house’s co-director, said.
This was one of those rare examples of Anne’s rare handwriting; a text in Dutch from 28 March, three months before Anne and her family went into hiding.
The poem, written in black ink on a notebook-sized piece of white paper that has slightly discolored with age, was addressed “Dear Cri-cri,” and signed “In memory, from Anne Frank.”
Around 20 collectors were present in the sales room at the auction house to battle for the poem, while others were bidding by telephone and online.
“In 1988, a series of letters between Anne, her older sister Margot and American pen pals sold for $165,000 (£133,000). In May, a 1925 edition of Grimm’s fairy tales with both girls’ names written on the title page fetched $50,000 – twice the estimated price – in New York,” according to the auction house.
Anne’s diary is used to teach schoolchildren around the world about the Holocaust. The original is on display in Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, which attracted about 1.2 million visitors last year.
The poem reads:
If you did not finish your work properly,
And lost precious time,
Then once again take up your task
And try harder than before.
If others have reproached you
For what you have done wrong,
Then be sure to amend your mistake.
That is the best answer one can make.
In memory of Anne Frank”
According to the auction house “it is a typically edifying poem of the sort that was often written in ‘friendship books,’ exhorting the owner to do her best and be diligent at work.”
What do you say? Have you read her diary? I’m curious to read it, so I think I’m going to buy it eventually.