(JTA) – A Boston museum has acquired Anne Frank’s personal copy of “Grimm’s Fairy Tales” for $50,000 at auction.
The Museum of World War II was the highest bidder last Friday for the 1925 German edition of the book, which features the names of Anne and her sister, Margot, on the title page.
The book, which sold at Swann Auction Galleries in New York City, is accompanied by a 1977 letter from the girls’ father, Otto, giving it provenance.
It marked 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 Franks’ Amsterdam apartment when the family went into hiding in the attic of another building in the Dutch capital. Eventually it 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 Rendell, the founder and executive director of the Museum of World War II. “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.”
The book and letter are set to become a centrepiece of the museum’s collection of more than 7,500 World War II artifacts and a focus of its educational programs, according to the statement.