Making four times its low estimate at Bubb Kuyper auction house in Haarlem in the Netherlands, it sold to an unnamed online bidder who bought the poem after interest from more than 20 collectors in the room, online and on the telephone.
The eight-line verse was sent to the Dutch schoolgirl’s friend and was dated 28 March 1942, three months before Anne and her family went into hiding to escape the Nazis.
The poem is a rare example of Anne’s handwriting. It was written in black ink on a notebook-sized piece of white paper that has slightly discoloured with age. It was addressed “Dear Cri-cri,” and signed “In memory, from Anne Frank”.
It was written in the ‘poezie album’ or friendship book of ‘CriCri’ whose real name was Christiane van Maarsen and who died in 2006.
Van Maarsen was the older sister of Jacqueline van Maarsen, who was a classmate and friend of Frank. The lot came with a printed letter by Jacqueline van Maarsen who said the page was torn out of the album and given by Christiane to Jacqueline around 1970. She said: “I know that my sister was not as attached to this verse from Anne to her as I am to the verse Anne addressed to me, and that is the reason that I am now putting it up for sale".
Van Maarsen became a bookbinder and author of several books on Frank.
Frank is famous for the diary that she kept while in hiding for two years with her family during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. The family were captured in 1944 and she died in the Bergen-Belsen camp.
Her diary was given to her father, the only surviving member of the family, after the second world war and has been published in more than 60 languages around the world.