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Anne Frank Notes to Pen Pal in Iowa Will Be Auctioned

July 25, 1988
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

In late April 1940, a month before the Nazi invasion of Holland, Anne Frank and her older sister, Margot, were corresponding with Juanita and Betty Ann Wagner, sisters in Danville, Iowa.

The correspondence from the Frank sisters consists of a letter and postcard Anne sent to Juanita and a letter from Margot to Betty Ann.

Those fragments, from the vanished world of nearly a half century ago, include the only known samples of Anne Frank’s handwriting in English. They will be auctioned Oct. 25 by the Swann Galleries in New York, its president, George Lowry, announced last week.

The correspondence was initiated by a teacher at the Wagner girls’ school in Iowa who visited Europe the summer before and collected the names of young people there, Anne Frank among them, for her students to write to.

Anne was 11 at the time she wrote to Juanita. Margot, then 14, undertook on her own to write to Betty Ann Wagner.

The letters, dated April 27 and 29, 1940, were lighthearted. There were no premonitions of the tragedy about to befall Holland and the Frank family.

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