Anne Frank Poem Auctioned For $148,000

In March of 1942, just four months before her family went into hiding from the Nazis, Anne Frank sent a friend an 8-line poem. That handwritten note, recently put up for auction in the Netherlands, just sold for €140,000, the equivalent of $148,000, the BBC reports.

Frank sent the poem to the late Christiane van Maarsen, whom she addressed as “Cri-Cri,” the older sister of her dear friend Jacqueline. Van Maarsen kept the note in a poezie album — a scrapbook of note from friends of the sort popularly kept by Dutch girls at the time — until giving it to her sister. Jacqueline put the note up for auction through the Bubb Kuyper auction house, explaining her choice through a note on the auctioneers’ website.

“My sister (nicknamed Cri-Cri) tore this page out of her poezie album and gave it to me around 1970,” she wrote. “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.”

The first four lines of the poem, which exhorted its recipient to be diligent with schoolwork, were copied from a magazine. The second four are thought to have been Frank’s own creation. Her handwriting shifted halfway through the poem, which was expected to sell for between €30,000 and €50,000.

The New York Times’s Dan Bilefsky quoted the last four lines of the poem as reading “If others have reproached you/For what you have done wrong/Then be sure to amend your mistake/That is the best answer one can make.” It is unclear if that’s a translation, and if so, by whom.

Author

Talya Zax

Talya Zax

Talya Zax is the Forward’s culture fellow. Contact her at zax@forward.com or on Twitter, @TalyaZax.

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Anne Frank Poem Auctioned For $148,000

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