The Anne Frank House in Amsterdam has acquired an important collection of letters, photos and documents relating to Otto Frank, the father of Anne Frank.
Doyle of New York mediated the sale which was
for an undisclosed sum.
The collection originates from the estate of
actor Joseph Schildkraut, who corresponded with Otto Frank in the
early 1950s in preparation for his role as Otto in the stage
version of The Diary of Anne Frank.
It includes a number of unique letters and
documents concerning Otto Frank's attempts to emigrate to the
United States with his family before they went into hiding. The
Anne Frank House was able to acquire the collection through a
contribution from the Netherlands BankGiro Lottery.
Otto Frank, the only one of the eight people
who hid in the 'Secret Annex' to survive the war, was closely
involved in the creation of the play which was first staged in the
US in 1955.
In his correspondence with Schildkraut, Otto
answers questions that the actor had in preparation for his role.
The correspondence forms an important source for the history of the
creation of the play and its success in the US and provides a
wealth of information on the Frank family and the period in
The collection also includes photos of the
Frank family, the Van Pels family, and Fritz Pfeffer, who also hid
in the Secret Annex, and their helpers, Johannes Kleiman, Victor
Kugler, Bep Voskuijl and Miep and Jan Gies.
The estate of Joseph Schildkraut also
comprised letters and documents of Otto Frank that Nathan Straus, a
good friend of Otto Frank from the US, gave to Schildkraut to help
him prepare for his role.
In a letter from 1936, Otto writes to Nathan
that his children are doing well, but that the threat of Nazism is
also tangible in the Netherlands.
There are also various documents, including a letter from Otto
to Nathan from 1941 that concerns Otto Frank's attempts to emigrate
to the US with his family.