Anne Frank's lost pages published

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The Independent Online
IN THE latest twist of a 50-year publishing saga, a Dutch newspaper yesterday reproduced excerpts of five missing pages from the diaries of Anne Frank, the Jewish teenager whose family hid from the Nazis in an Amsterdam annexe for two years.

The pages, whose existence was revealed only last week, add yet more detail to the story of the Holocaust's most famous victim. Most strikingly, they contain critical comments by Anne about her parents' relationship. "It isn't an ideal marriage," she wrote. "Father isn't in love, he kisses her the way he kisses us ... he sometimes looks at her teasingly or mockingly, but never lovingly."

It was not clear yesterday how the pages - given to Cor Suijk, a family friend by Anne's father, Otto Frank - came into the possession of Het Parool, an Amsterdam daily.

The newspaper's decision to publish three of them brought an immediate threat of legal action from the Basel-based Anne Frank Fund in Switzerland, which holds the copyright to the diaries. In the excerpts, Anne wrote: "I will make sure that it [the diaries] will not fall into anyone's hands."

David Barnouw, of the Netherlands State Institute for War Documentation, dismissed the significance of that yesterday, noting that she also wrote many times of her ambition to become a journalist.

Mr Suijk, a former employee of the Amsterdam-based Anne Frank Foundation, has told scholars Mr Frank gave him the missing pages as a gift. Mr Barnouw believes he wanted to keep their contents private.

Anne's father, the only family member to survive the war, published the original version of the diaries in 1947. Her story came to symbolise that of a lost generation and became a modern literary classic, translated into dozens of languages.

But Otto Frank, who died in 1980, had excised significant portions of her scribblings, including negative remarks about friends who went into hiding with the family and who later died in concentration camps.

At the request of his Catholic publishing house in the Netherlands, he also cut what were then deemed to be sexually graphic passages. Three years ago, in what was hailed as a publishing sensation, a "definitive version" containing the expurgated sections was brought out in America. The British imprint followed last year.

Events of the past week demonstrate the dangers of the term "definitive". Already, the documentation centre is planning to produce yet another edition containing the new pages, and has commissioned a lawyer to obtain them.

Pierre Loewe, of the Anne Frank Fund, said yesterday: "The case is in the hands of our lawyers."

Het Parool was unrepentant, after running the excerpts on its front page next to a large photograph of Anne, who died of typhus in Bergen-Belsen camp in 1945 after the family's hiding-place was betrayed to the Gestapo. "We think the whole subject is news, and there is no copyright on news," said Frits Campagne, the newspaper's deputy editor. "If they send their lawyers, we will ask our lawyers to answer them."

Mr Suijk has demanded that proceeds from publication of the pages should go to the Anne Frank Center USA in New York, for which he now works.

Observant

Daughter

Dear Kitty,

Since I seem to have plenty of time to think these days and ... my thoughts turned quite naturally to father and mother's marriage. They always held it up to me as an example of an ideal marriage ... I get the impression that father married mother because he found her suitable to occupy the place as his wife ... It can't be easy for a woman who loves her husband to know that she'll never come first in his heart ... Father respects mother and loves her, but it's not the love that I imagine in a marriage ...

Father isn't in love, he kisses her the way he kisses us, and he never holds her up as an example, because he can't. He sometimes looks at her teasingly or mockingly, but never lovingly ... She loves him more than she loves anyone else, and it is hard to accept that this sort of love will always be unrequited.

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