(JTA) — A Boston museum has acquired Anne Frank’s personal copy of “Grimm’s Fairy Tales.”
Anne Frank wrote her name and the name of her sister, Margot, on the title page of the 1925 German edition of the book. The book, which sold at Swann Auction Galleries in New York City on Friday for $50,000, is accompanied by a 1977 letter from the girl’s father, Otto Frank, giving the book’s provenance.
The book was acquired by the Museum of World War II in Boston.
It is the first time in more than 20 years that something signed by Anne Frank has been up for sale, the museum said in a statement.
The book was left behind in the Frank’s Amsterdam apartment when they went into hiding in the attic of another building in the city. It eventually was sold after World War II to a Dutch couple by a secondhand bookstore in Amsterdam. . In 1977, the couple’s children discovered the signature and wrote to Otto Frank to let him know of the discovery. In the letter, included with the purchase of the book, he expressed how deeply the discovery of the book affected him, as well as his wish for the family to keep the book for their own daughter, in memory of Anne Frank, according to the auction house.
“Anne Frank is the human symbol of the Holocaust,” said Kenneth W. Rendell, founder and executive director of the Museum of World War II, Boston. “Her diary is read by students everywhere throughout the world. Handwriting is the most direct connection we can have with someone and seeing this book which belonged to her, with her handwriting on the title page, is as direct a personal connection we can have with her. She is the most empathetic personality of World War II. Our Museum displays one of the most comprehensive and important collections of the Holocaust, including important letters by her father about trying to get her diary published, but until now something actually signed by her was missing.”
The book and letter are set to become a centerpiece of the museum’s collection of more than 7,500 World War II artifacts and a focus of the museum’s educational programs, according to the statement.