Rare Handwritten Anne Frank Poem Auctioned for $148,620

The sale price, nearly three times the upper limit of the auction house's estimate, shows the enduring popularity of the Jewish diarist.

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
A short poem by Anne Frank, handwritten and dated in Amsterdam on March 28, 1942, is displayed at Bubb Kuyper auction house, Haarlem, Netherlands, November 23, 2016.
A short poem by Anne Frank, handwritten and dated in Amsterdam on March 28, 1942, is displayed at Bubb Kuyper auction house, Haarlem, Netherlands, November 23, 2016.Credit: Peter Dejong, AP

A rare handwritten poem signed by Anne Frank sold at auction to an anonymous online bidder on Wednesday for $148,620.

In a sign of the enduring popularity of the Jewish diarist who became a symbol for Holocaust victims, the sale price, which doesn't include the auctioneer's commission, was nearly three times the upper limit of the Dutch auction house's pre-sale estimate.

The eight-line poem, half of which was copied from a Dutch book of verse, is dated March 28, 1942, shortly before Anne and her family went into hiding from the Netherlands' wartime Nazi occupiers in a secret apartment in an Amsterdam canal house.

The poem was accompanied by a letter of authenticity from the seller, Anne's former school friend, Jacqueline van Maarsen. The poem is addressed to Van Maarsen's late sister, Christiane.

Jacqueline van Maarsen also has a poem written by Anne that was addressed to her.

"I know that my sister was not as attached to this verse from Anne to her as I am to the verse Anne addressed to me, and that is the reason that I am now putting it up for sale," Van Maarsen said in a letter accompanying the poem.

Auction house Bubb Kuyper put a presale estimate of 30,000-50,000 euros ($32,000-53,000) on the poem.

Anne Frank Foundation spokeswoman Maatje Mostart said there is no doubt about the poem's authenticity.

"Jacqueline was an important person for Anne," Mostart said.

Mostart said it is "very special" for a piece of Anne's handwriting to come up for auction, but added that the foundation didn't plan to bid for the poem.

Anne and her family were betrayed and captured late in the war and deported. Anne died in the Bergen-Belsen Nazi concentration camp at age 15, shortly before it was liberated by Allied forces.

Her father survived the war and published her diary, which went on to become a global best-seller.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

SUBSCRIBE
Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Trump and Netanyahu at the White House in Washington, in 2020.

Three Years Later, Israelis Find Out What Trump Really Thought of Netanyahu

German soldier.

The Rival Jewish Spies Who Almost Changed the Course of WWII

Rio. Not all Jewish men wear black hats.

What Does a Jew Look Like? The Brits Don't Seem to Know

Galon. “I’m coming to accomplish a specific mission: to increase Meretz’s strength and ensure that the party will not tread water around the electoral threshold. If Meretz will be large enough, it will be the basis for a Jewish-Arab partnership.” Daniel Tchetchik

'I Have No Illusions About Ending the Occupation, but the Government Needs the Left'

Soldiers using warfare devices made by the Israeli defense electronics company Elbit Systems.

Russia-Ukraine War Catapults Israeli Arms Industry to Global Stage

Flame and smoke rise during an Israeli air strike, amid Israel-Gaza fighting, in Gaza City August 6, 2022.

Israel Should End Gaza Operation Now, if It Can