A handwritten verse by Anne Frank, who died at Bergen-Belsen concentration camp only months before World War II ended, sold recently for €140,000 – that’s €90,000 more than was expected.
Director Thijs Blankevoort of the Bubb Kuyper auction house in Haarlem, just outside Amsterdam, said the sale price came as an unexpected surprise.
According to Kuyper’s lot description, the verse is a standard educational poem of the type often penned in “friendship” albums, encouraging the owner to practice diligence at work and contribute the best possible effort.
The poem, dated March 28, 1942, had been written four months before she and her family hid themselves in the ‘Secret Annex,’ a number of rooms in an attic hidden behind a false bookcase in the office building where her father worked in Amsterdam, the Dutch capital city, until the family and other residents were arrested on August 4, 1944, following over two years of covert existence. Anne’s father was the only member of the family to survive the camps.
Anne Frank Foundation spokeswoman Maatje Mostart said the authenticity of the lot is beyond doubt. The identity of the online bidder hasn’t been disclosed, Newsweek reported.
The poem appeared six months following another item in Anne’s handwriting sold at Swann Auction Galleries in New York City. Swann’s offered a copy of Grimm’s Fairy Tales with Anne’s and her older sister’s name, Margot, written on the title page, in May.
Anne Frank is one of the most memorable personalities of the Second World War, said Kenneth Rendell, Swann’s director and founder. When you see a person’s handwriting, it strikes a personal note. The person was real.