LONDON (Aug. 30)
The publication of new excerpts of Anne Frank’s diary has triggered threats of possible legal action.
The threats come after a leading Dutch newspaper, Het Parool, reproduced what it claimed were excerpts from five missing pages of the famous diary of Anne Frank, the Dutch teen-ager who died of typhus in Bergen-Belsen after the Nazis discovered her family’s hiding place in an Amsterdam attic.
The missing pages, which were suppressed by Anne’s father, Otto, the only member of the family to survive the Holocaust, reportedly 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.”
Pierre Loewe of the Swiss-based Anne Frank Fund, which owns the copyright to the diaries, warned that “the case is in the hands of our lawyers.”
Het Parool’s deputy editor, Frits Campagne, responded by saying, “We think the whole subject is news, and there is no copyright on news. If they send their lawyers, we will ask our lawyers to answer them.”
Otto Frank, who died in 1980, is understood to have given the missing pages to a family friend, Cor Suijk, as a gift, but it is not known how the excerpts were passed on to Het Parool.
Suijk, a former employee of the Dutch-based Anne Frank Foundation, has demanded that proceeds from publication of the pages go to the Anne Frank Center USA in New York, where he now works.
According to David Barnouw of the Netherlands State Institute for War Documentation, Otto Frank wanted the contents of the missing pages to remain private.
When the diaries were published in 1947, he is believed to have deleted significant sections of her entries, including negative remarks Anne made about friends who had hidden with the Frank family and later perished in the Holocaust.
At the request of the Catholic publishing house in the Netherlands that first printed the diaries, he is also believed to have deleted what were then considered explicit sexual passages.
Three years ago, a “definitive version” of the dairies, including the previously expurgated sections, was published in the United States, but it now is possible a new edition will be produced.
Following are the excerpts from Anne Frank’s diary that appeared in Het Parool:
“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.”