Anne Frank poem could sell for for­tune

The Myanmar Times - - The Pulse -

AVERY rare hand­writ­ten poem by Jewish diarist Anne Frank goes un­der the auc­tion­eer’s ham­mer to­day, amid a flurry of in­ter­est which may push the price well above the 30,000 euro (US$32,000) re­serve.

“Th­ese things are so rare that I’ve never seen any­thing like it,” said Thys Blankevoort, co-di­rec­tor of the Bubb Kuyper auc­tion house based in the western Dutch town of Haar­lem.

“Any doc­u­ment that’s writ­ten by Anne Frank is rare,” he told AFP, adding only about four or five items signed by her had come to light in the past 40 years.

“There are some chance finds, some books from the li­braries. But th­ese are not manuscripts, they are owner en­tries,” he added, re­fer­ring to books which have been found with Frank’s name writ­ten in­side.

Ded­i­cated to “Dear Cri-cri”, the poem, writ­ten in Dutch in black ink on a note­book-size piece of white pa­per which has slightly dis­coloured with age, is signed “in mem­ory, from Anne Frank”.

Frank wrote the 12-line text, dated March 28, 1942, in a friend­ship book be­long­ing to the older sis­ter of her best friend only three months be­fore she and her fam­ily went into hid­ing from the Nazis in Am­s­ter­dam.

The Diary of a Young Girl, which Frank penned while in hid­ing from June 1942 to Au­gust 1944 has sold more than 30 mil­lion copies in 67 languages.

She died in the Ber­gen-Belsen con­cen­tra­tion camp in Ger­many in early 1945 less than a year af­ter the Nazis cap­tured her and just be­fore the end of World War II. ‘Buoy­ant’ mar­ket A re­serve price of US$32,000 has been put on the text, but the auc­tion­eer said while it could go over $50,000 it was im­pos­si­ble to say what it would fi­nally sell for as once mu­se­ums and in­sti­tutes be­came in­volved bid­ding could be­come “to­tally un­pre­dictable”.

“It might go higher,” Blankevoort said, adding there had been a lot of in­ter­est from both pri­vate col­lec­tors and mu­se­ums.

“Historical doc­u­ments by fa­mous peo­ple are re­ally sought af­ter. That’s a sep­a­rate niche in the mar­ket that’s quite buoy­ant.”

The poem is be­ing sold by Jac­que­line van Maarsen, Frank’s pri­mary school friend, who over the years has worked to keep her pal’s story alive. Frank also wrote a poem in Jac­que­line’s book, but she is too at­tached to it to sell it, Blankevoort said.

While the first four lines of the text are well-known among such po­ems “writ­ten by girls, for girls”, the auc­tion house has so far not traced the ori­gins of the fi­nal four lines.

“The sec­ond half might pos­si­bly even be com­posed by” Anne Frank, Blankevoort ac­knowl­edged. It fol­lows the vein of such po­ems which of­ten con­tained a moral about love and friend­ship, call­ing on girls to work hard and be dili­gent.

A series of let­ters be­tween Anne and her sis­ter Mar­got and Amer­i­can pen­pals sold for $165,000 in 1988. And a 1925 edi­tion of Grimm’s fairy tales, with both girls’ names writ­ten on the ti­tle page, went for $62,500 in May in a New York auc­tion – fetch­ing twice the es­ti­mated price. –

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