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Posted Wednesday, August 19, 1998


[Anne Frank]

Discovery of More Pages of Anne Frank's Diary Raises Further Questions


[The Miami Herald]

Wednesday, August 19, 1998

Extra pages of Anne Frank diary found

By WILLIAM J. KOLE Associated Press

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands -- They could be the biting words of any spirited teenager scribbling grouchily in her diary about her parents.

But when the author is Anne Frank, and her harrowing account of two years in hiding from the Nazis is an international bestseller in 55 languages, even the banal takes on special significance.

Startled scholars who thought they'd published the complete Diary of Anne Frank said Tuesday that five handwritten pages they didn't know existed have turned up.

The discovery could lead to a legal battle for their return -- and added intrigue in the ongoing search to know as much as possible about the young girl who unwittingly became the voice of the Holocaust.

The pages, in which Anne gives a "very critical" assessment of her parents' marriage, were found to be in the possession of a former employee of the Anne Frank Foundation, the Netherlands State Institute for War Documentation disclosed Tuesday.

The foundation and the war documentation center have issued a joint demand for their return and said they have hired a lawyer.

The man now holding the pages said Anne's father, Otto Frank, gave them to him shortly before Frank's death in 1980, the center said. His name was not released and there was nothing to indicate that he had done anything wrong.

Still, the center said, "it is highly improbable that Otto Frank made a gift of this original manuscript to this former employee."

"Rather, he may have just handed him the pages to prevent the contents from becoming public."


No details released

Citing "the sensitive nature of the material," the center refused to release the pages or even elaborate on their contents.

Anne Frank's diary, a modern literary classic that has become required reading in schools worldwide, has inspired numerous books, films and a hit Broadway musical. Anne chronicled how she and her family hid in a secret annex behind a movable bookcase in a house along an Amsterdam canal.

The house itself, which has been carefully preserved and restored, is one of Amsterdam's biggest tourist attractions, drawing several hundred thousand visitors each year.

The diary trails off in August 1944, just before the Franks were betrayed and Anne was arrested and hauled off to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Starving and freezing, Anne died there of typhoid in the spring of 1945, just weeks before the camp was liberated.

Otto Frank, the only family member to survive the war, published the diary in 1947. He is known to have withheld a few portions dealing with his marriage, wishing to keep some aspects of the family's life private.

Loose sheets of paper

Complicating matters, Anne had begun rewriting her diary on loose sheets of paper that easily could have been lost or confiscated in the aftermath of her arrest.

Once the five pages are recovered, they will be included in a new edition of the diary, said David Barnouw, a spokesman for the war documentation center who helped compile an unabridged version of Anne's journal.

"We thought we had a complete edition. Now this pops up," Barnouw said. "I don't doubt the authenticity of these pages."

Barnouw couldn't rule out the possibility that still more pages might be missing.

"That's one of our biggest questions," he said. "And we thought we had the whole story."

Copyright © 1998 The Miami Herald
Our opinion

WE WONDER which handwriting style these pages will turn out to have been written in. While there is no longer any doubt that much of the manuscript, which is more of a novel than a personal diary, was written by one hand, possibly Anne's, other pages were determined by the German forensic laboratories in Wiesbaden to have been written in ballpoint ink, which did not exist at the time of her tragic death. Her father Otto Frank played an obscure role in all this.

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