Anne Frank’s Copy of Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Signed by Her
April 06, 2017
This evocative piece, a 1925 German edition of Grimm’s Fairy Tales (Aus Grimms Märchen), signed on the title page by Anne Frank, was acquired by the Museum at an auction in New York City in May. Anne signs her name and her sister’s name, “Anne Frank en Margo Frank,” in the upper right portion.
The book is accompanied by a 1977 letter written by her father, Otto Frank, explaining that the book had been left behind in the family’s apartment in Amsterdam, before they went into hiding in the secret annex.
Kenneth W. Rendell, the Museum’s Founder and Director, said that genuine signatures of Anne Frank are extremely rare. This is only the third time that something signed by Anne Frank has been sold.
“Anne Frank is a human symbol of the Holocaust,” says Rendell. “Her diary is read by students everywhere in the world. Seeing this book, which belonged to her, with her handwriting on the title page, is as direct a personal connection as we can have with her. It is a dramatic reminder that Anne Frank was only 16 years old when she died in a concentration camp.”
Although the Museum has one of the most comprehensive and important collections of Holocaust artifacts, including letters by Anne Frank’s father about getting her diary published, her grandmother about how she died, and others surrounding her, until now, there was nothing of Anne Frank herself.
Founding Education Director Marshall Carter says, “This poignant reminder of Anne Frank will profoundly move students. So many young people who visit the Museum read her diary, and now they can come so near to a book that was Anne’s very own. That closeness with history reminds us today, that Anne was real, she had a childhood, and she knew the stories, the fairy tales, we ourselves know.”
Anne Frank’s diary is on permanent display at the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. Only three other museums have examples of her handwriting.