(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
A poem that Anne Frank sent to a girlfriend in 1942, shortly before her family went into hiding from the Nazis, was sold for 140,000 euros ($147,700) at an auction in the Netherlands on Wednesday.
Frank was 12-years-old when she sent the short poem, at least part of which was copied from a magazine, for her friend's poetry album.
Auction house Bubb Kuyper had initially valued the rare example of Frank's handwriting and signature minimally at 30,000 euros ($31,800).
The eight-line poem is addressed "Dear Cri-Cri", to Christiane van Maarsen, the older sister of one of Frank's best friends, and dated 28 March 1942. The first four lines, which have been identified as coming from a magazine, encourage Van Maarsen to work harder at school. The second four, which may have been crafted by Frank herself, say that the best answer to critics is to do a better job.
Exchanging and collecting poems in albums was a pastime for girls of the day.
Chistiane van Maarsen died in 2006. Her sister Jacqueline, who is still alive, was in the same class as Frank at school. She said in a note published by the auction house she was selling the poem because it hadn't been important to Christiane.
Jacqueline's son Maarten Sanders told Reuters his mother had her own poem written by Frank which she would never sell as they were good friends in school, adding that he could not really rejoice at the sale.
"One really cannot be joyful about this amount, I'm speaking for myself, I haven't spoken to my mother but I think she would feel the same, that it has no bearing in a way with what has happened, to see this small piece of paper by a small kid to see such an amount of money, well, there is no joy on my part seeing this happening," he said.
Frank kept a diary during the two years she and her family hid in a tiny secret apartment above a warehouse in Amsterdam before they were betrayed and arrested by the Germans in August 1944 and deported. Anne died at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp weeks before it was liberated in 1945.
Her diary was preserved and has become one the most important documents to emerge from the Holocaust.