NEW YORK —
Anne Frank was an avid storyteller whose childhood diary has captivated people all around the world.
While her diary is housed at a memorial in Amsterdam, admirers of Frank will soon be able to bid on her copy of “Grimm’s Fairy Tales.”
The book is signed by Frank and is estimated to be worth between $20,000 and $30,000.
It’s written in German and contains notable stories such as “Little Red Riding Hood,” “Hansel and Gretel,” “Snow White,” “Cinderella” and “Rumpelstiltskin.”
The book is thought to have been passed down to Frank by her sister, Margot Frank, whose name and bookplate are present.
The collection of fairy tales was left behind in the Frank’s original apartment in Amsterdam before they went into hiding.
In 1977, a Dutch family discovered Frank’s signature in the book of fairy tales they’d purchased from a secondhand bookstore shortly after World War II.
The family reached out to Frank’s father, Otto Frank, to tell him about the book. He responded in a letter, which is up for auction with the book of fairy tales. He wrote that he was incredibly touched by the discovery but told the family to keep the book and give it to their daughter in memory of his own daughters.
The auction is set to occur on May 5 and will be held by Swann Galleries in New York City.
The book is the third Anne Frank-related item to ever be auctioned, according to the gallery.
In 1988, Swann auctioned a series of letters that Frank and her sister exchanged with their American pen-pals. The set sold for $165,000.
A year later, Christie’s sold a “friendship book” in which Frank had pressed some flowers and written a poetic verse about the fleeting nature of flowers.
Nicholas Lowry, the president of Swann Galleries, says the book in itself isn’t that unique — the edition would be worth about $75. That Frank’s signature is so valuable is a testament to “the space she inhabits in our cultural consciousness.”
The book of fairy tales is also a reminder that, for all her wisdom, Frank was still very much a child when she penned her famous diary.
She went into hiding at 13 and was only 15 when she and her family were discovered in the secret annex of an Amsterdam apartment.
Her family was sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp after they were found. Eventually, Frank and her sister were sent on to Bergen-Belsen, where they died. The only member of Frank’s immediate family to survive was her father.