A hand-written poem by Anne Frank has raised €140,000 at auction in Haarlem, well above the estimate of up to €50,000.
The poem, just eight lines long, was written in a friendship book belonging to Christiane van Maarsen, the older sister of Anne’s best friend at primary school Jacqueline.
‘My sister tore this out of her friendship book around 1970 and gave it to me,’ Van Maarsen is quoted as saying by broadcaster NOS. ‘I know she was not as attached to it as I am to the poem Anne wrote for me. That is why I am now selling it.’
The first four lines have been identified as coming from a magazine and urge the reader to try harder. The last four lines, which have not yet been sourced and may have been written by Frank herself, tell the reader that the best answer to critics is to amend your mistakes.
Anne was 12 when she wrote the note to ‘Dear Cri-Cri’, just a few months before the Frank family went into hiding from the Nazis. The verse is signed ‘in memory, Anne Frank’.
‘Any document that’s written by Anne Frank is rare,’ Auction house co-director Thys Blankevoort told AFP this week. Only about four or five items signed by her have come to light in the past 40 years, he said.
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