A lost poem by Anne Frank that she wrote shortly before she and her family went into hiding from the Nazis has been unearthed more than 70 years later.
The previously-unseen eight-line poem was penned by the Jewish schoolgirl for the sister of her closest friend on March 28, 1942.
She wrote it, aged 12, in a book belonging to Christiane ‘Cri-cri’ Van Maarsen, the younger sister of her best friend Jacqueline.
Anne Frank was born in 1929 in Frankfurt, Germany but her family fled the Nazis in 1933, moving to Amsterdam where her father worked in the fruit extract business.
But in 1940 Holland was occupied by the Nazis and the family were once again under threat because they were Jews.
The newly found poem was written two days after Jews in Berlin were ordered to paint the Star of David on their houses to identify them to the Nazi authorities.
The poem, written in Dutch, begins Dear Cri-Cri, and seems to be giving homely advice to the younger girl. It reads:
If you did not finish your work properly,
And lost precious time,
Then once again take up your task
And try harder than before.
If others have reproached you
For what you have done wrong,
Then be sure to amend your mistake.
That is the best memory one can make.
Cri-cri died 10 years ago and her sister has now put the poem up for auction, where it is expected to fetch around 50,000 euros.
Thirteen weeks after the poem was written Anne, her sister Margot and their parents went into hiding, along with four other families, in an annexe above the offices of their business.
The entrance to the annexe was concealed by a bookcase.
The family were sustained by friends who kept their secret and brought them food and anything else they needed.
Her diary was left behind when the hideout was eventually discovered by Dutch collaborators in August 1944, who handed them over to the occupying German Army in 1944.
The family ended up in a concentration camp and Anne died in February or March 1945.
But her father Otto, who survived the camps, returned to the house in Amsterdam and found Anne’s diary, which had been kept by a Dutch friend, Miep Gies.
Anne Frank’s diary, an account of her life in hiding, was published in 1947 and became a global sensation, being translated into 67 languages.
Thijs Blankevoort, director of Dutch auction house Bubb Kuyper Auctions, which is selling the poem this week, said: ‘The poem is very simple – it has eight lines.
‘It is very significant because it is very rare. Normally a poem like this would already have been donated to a museum or would be kept in small family circles for ever.’