When we hear or read the name Anne Frank we immediately think of her Diary of a Young Girl, the often harrowing story of a teenage girl and her Jewish family’s 2 year battle for survival in German occupied Holland during WWII that ultimately ended in tragedy with her dying in a concentration camp.
However it seems that her diary is not the only thing of Anne’s that survived the horrors of her short life.
The novel, Grimm’s Fairy Tales ( A German copy of course) was discovered in the 1970s by a family who had bought it from a bookshop and only later realised its importance. They immediately wrote to Anne’s father Otto who was the only family member to survive the war offering to return it to him but he replied telling them it was theirs and they should keep it; this note is included in the sale of the book.
The book itself is a much loved and well worn novel having Anne’s and her sister Margot’s names inscribed by her hand on the fly leaf. This makes it only the third item of Anne Frank holograph material to have ever been offered up for sale with the other two being a series of letters and postcards sent to American penpals which Swann sold for $165,000 in 1988 and a verse inscription signed by Anne which was sold by Christie’s in 1989 for $35,200. Swann has estimated this novel to be worth somewhere in the region of $20-30,000.
The book will be sold in New York on May 5th and will be on public display in its New York showroom on May 2nd.
For me, whilst this is a fascinating story, I’d much rather this book was sitting on a bookshelf in one of Anne’s daughter’s homes; tattered and torn but having been read at bedtime by Anne herself to her children and her grandchildren rather than it being a testament to the horrors that intolerance and hatred of people who permit atrocities in the name of patriotism.