News24

Missing pages now included in Anne Frank's diary

2001-03-13 12:52

Amsterdam - A new edition of Anne Frank's diary was released Monday with five previously secret pages that described her parents' loveless marriage and her troubled relationship with her mother.

The hand-written pages, kept hidden for more than 40 years, deepened the poignant image of Anne struggling with the normal growing pains while confined with her family in a tiny attic in Amsterdam for two years to evade the Nazis.

Anne portrays her mother, Edith, as having "cold eyes", and agonises that she cannot talk to her - perhaps one reason she confided her thoughts and emotions in her diary. She laments that her parents are not in love, that their marriage, which seemed so perfect to others, was merely a union of convenience.

Anne began scrawling her diary on June 12, 1942, in a small album of the sort meant to collect autographs she had received that day for her 13th birthday. Her last entry was August 1, 1944, three days before she was arrested. She and her sister, Margot, died of typhus in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in the spring of 1945.

"The Diary of Anne Frank" has sold 25 million copies in 55 languages since it was first printed in 1947. The book resulted in a hit Broadway play and a successful movie.

Publication of the new edition by the Netherlands Institute for War Documentation came three years after a close friend of Anne's father disclosed the existence of the pages that Otto Frank had entrusted to him years earlier.

Frank, the family's only survivor of the war, had given the pages to Cor Suijk before he died in 1980, with instructions not to publish them until he and his second wife were both dead.

An Amsterdam newspaper published the missing pages in 1999 but was sued for copyright violation and was forced to print a front-page apology.

After protracted negotiations with Suijk, the Netherlands paid $300 000 to the US-based Holocaust Education Foundation rather than pursue a court case asserting its claim to ownership of all of Anne Frank's letters, said David Barnouw of the war documentation institute. Otto Frank bequested the copyrights to the Anne Frank Fund of Basle, Switzerland, and the physical ownership to the institute.

Frank had never concealed the fact that the original published diary was incomplete. When he transcribed and edited the diary in 1945, he acknowledged omitting passages that might be offensive to people then living and expunging remarks about her mother "that didn't concern anyone else".

In fact, two diaries already existed. Anne herself began editing and rewriting her diary in March 1944 after hearing an appeal on an underground radio to keep diaries for the histories that would be compiled after the war. She never finished.

The new entries appear on three sheets of paper, two of them written on both sides, said Barnouw. One was dated February 8, 1944, but the second had no date. The new pages were still being translated into English and other languages. - Sapa-AP