No, it is not a signed Diary of a Young Girl book — that would be impossible. Apparently Anne had this Grimm’s Fairy Tales book and signed it or printed her name as a signal of her ownership, the book was not taken into hiding. By whatever route from there, the book landed in a used book shop in Amsterdam where “a couple” bought it. They did not realize the significance of the name until 1977: their children recognized the name. They wrote to Otto Frank, Anne’s father, who was the only surviving member of Anne’s immediate family. He replied by mail that they could keep it.
The book and Otto’s letter are both up for auction in May, by Swann Auction Galleries. I find nothing on their site about this.
CNBC News article about this.
An archive of about 100 Otto Frank documents, letters, photos, and at least one personal item (a hankie) will be auctioned in New York on November fifth, at Doyle New York, as part of their Books, Photographs & Prints Auction. The entire archive is anticipated to bring $20,000 to $30,000. The most valuable and intriguing items are doubtless the handful from the war period as Otto tried to get his family out of Holland (example snippet shown here). The items will be on exhibit at the auction house prior to the auction: November 2-4 (auction on Nov 5). The link has one photo, and much more information.
Thanks to my watchful NL contact for the info.
I found a couple interesting things on ebay. I am on a tight budget, so I need to pass. Maybe someone
reading this will be interested (and tell me about them if they win ;-). Both
sellers have 100% ratings.
- First, this curious item. Very international: a seller from Germany is selling a BBC (British) documentary on DVD, which has Dutch subtitles. The title is “Diary of Anne Frank,” and the box indicates they try to find out what she was really like. The auction ends in less than a day, the starting bid (including shipping) would be about $20USD for me. Bidding ends in less than 24 hours.
- A rare copy of Mayer Levin’s illegal play based on the diary. This man was originally given the task of adapting the diary to the stage but Otto Frank and the other people involved were not happy with him for various reasons. Levin renounced his right to work on the play in late 1952, but pursued legal action nonetheless. The current high bid is $25USD. Bidding ends on June 2nd.
One of the people involved, Barbara Zimmerman, said, “Levin’s play was no good at all. He completely misread the family, turning them into very observant Jews when actually they were upper-middle-class and highly assimilated. It was not so much a play as a series of religious celebrations.”
(Old links removed. The cryptic mention of the prominent auction site is due to the free hosting’s restrictions.)