Wednesday - 22 October 2014

Doyle oversee deal to boost archive at Anne Frank House

19 November 2012Written by ATG Reporter

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 hiding.

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.

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