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Catalog 157: Rare Holocaust Imprints and Related Publications.
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The First Publication Ever of Any Part of Anne Frank's Diary
Anne Frank’s Diary, appearing first in Dutch as “HET ACHTERHUIS: DAGBOEKBRIEVEN 12 JUNI 1942-1 AUGUSTUS 1944” and later in English as “The Diary of a Young Girl,” is a work which continues to hold its place at the top of many literary lists: the most famous diary of modern times, the most famous work by a teenager, most famous work on the Holocaust, most famous 20th Century work by a Jew, etc….
Primo Levi suggested that Anne Frank is frequently identified as a single representative of the millions of people who suffered and died as she did because "One single Anne Frank moves us more than the countless others who suffered just as she did but whose faces have remained in the shadows. Perhaps it is better that way; if we were capable of taking in all the suffering of all those people, we would not be able to live."
Otto Frank spent the remainder of his life as custodian of his daughter's legacy, saying, "It's a strange role. In the normal family relationship, it is the child of the famous parent who has the honor and the burden of continuing the task. In my case the role is reversed." He recalled his publisher's explaining why he thought the diary has been so widely read, with the comment, "he said that the diary encompasses so many areas of life that each reader can find something that moves him personally."
Simon Wiesenthal expressed a similar sentiment when he said that the diary had raised more widespread awareness of the Holocaust than had been achieved during the Nuremberg Trials, because "people identified with this child. This was the impact of the Holocaust, this was a family like my family, like your family and so you could understand this." (Wikipedia, 2012)
Following the war, Otto Frank’s typed manuscript of Anne’s Diary found its way via a number of different contacts to the Dutch historians Jan Romein and his wife Annie Romein-Verschoor. Anne Romein unsuccessfully tried to find a publisher, leading Jan Romein to write a short article about the diary, which appears on the front page of the April 3, 1946 issue of the Dutch newspaper Het Parool, formerly the newspaper of the Resistance. Romein notes: “This apparently inconsequential diary by a child, this ‘de profundis’ stammered out in a child's voice, embodies all the hideousness of fascism, more so than all the evidence of Nuremberg put together. ”
Then, 2 months later, "Five Fragments from the Diary of Anne Frank," appears in the June 1946 issue of the Dutch intellectual journal De Nieuwer Stem (pages 432-442). As noted by Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett & Jeffrey Shandler in their forthcoming book “Anne Frank Unbound: Media, Imagination, Memory” (Indiana, 2012), this marks “the first publication of Anne's writing." Posthumously, Anne Frank has achieved her dream of becoming a published writer, of her story coming to light.
The exceedingly rare first public appearance. Very good condition. (HOLO2-101-39) SOLD
This first appearance, presented here, is still a full year before the first edition of the book would appear, in June, 1947, published by Contact Publishing (Amsterdam), in a run of 3000 copies.
The Netherlands Institute for War Documentation notes in their “Revised Critical Edition” of the Diary (NY, 1989), that between publication of the excerpt in De Nieuwe Stem and final publication by Contact a year later, further changes were made to the manuscript. Not only were abbreviations fleshed out, but also entire lines were "pasted over," "several dozen" words were changed, and "twenty-five passages were crossed out." (p. 70)