Anne Frank's Diary Published in Portuguese; Father Otto Frank Corresponds with Publishers
1p TLS in English signed by Otto Frank, father of teenaged German Jewish diarist Anne Frank as "Otto Frank" in blue ball-point tip pen at center. Written in Birsfelden, Switzerland on January 4, 1963. On "Otto H. Frank / Buchenstrasse 6 / Birsfelden BL / Telephon (061) 41 48 08" letterhead. The cream stationery has a double hole-punched left margin. With light expected paper folds, else near fine. 5.75" x 8.125".
Frank wrote to Portuguese publishing house representatives in their common language of English. Otto's occasional awkward turn of phrase and isolated typographical errors only further underscore his sincerity. Punctuation, grammar, and spelling remain unchanged.
Your kind letter of Dec. 18th has been forwarded to me and I regret, that your letter of Aug. 17th has been lost. In any case I want to thank your for having sent the copies to Brazil.
Reciprocating your good wishes for the New Year and wishing you all the best I am with kind regards
very sincerel yours
[signed] Otto Frank."
Otto Heinrich Frank (1889-1980) was the sole survivor of his 4-person family, comprised of wife Edith (1900-1945), daughter Margot (1926-1945), and Anne (1929-1945). Between July 1942 and August 1944, the Franks and four others hid in a secret annex located in the back upper stories of the Amsterdam business where Otto worked. The Franks were discovered, arrested, and sent to Auschwitz in September 1944. Edith died of starvation at Auschwitz in January 1945; her two daughters died of typhus in February or March 1945 at Bergen-Belsen. Otto was released after the Soviets liberated Auschwitz in late January 1945.
Anne's writings had been collected and preserved by Otto's coworker Miep Gies, who had sheltered the families in the annex. Otto had initially transcribed Anne's diaries in order to give them to family members, but was eventually persuaded to seek publication. The final manuscript was a combination of two versions of the diaries Anne wrote, with Otto's edits and redactions. The book was first published in Dutch on June 25, 1947 as The Secret Annex: Diary Letters from June 14, 1942 to August 1, 1944.
In early January 1958, the Portuguese publishing firm of Livros do Brasil, Ltd. ran their first 3,000 limited edition printing of The Diary of Anne Frank. The book's popularity was such that it had already been published in German and French in 1950, and then in English (for both the US and UK markets) in 1952. The Portoguese publishers had been eager to acquire rights to the publication, and worked closely with Otto Frank during the process. Now, in early 1963, the book would have South American readers. Livros do Brasil, Ltd. collaborated with Otto over the next twenty years, seeking to publish similar and complementary works about Anne Frank and the Jewish war experience.
The book's publishing success in multiple languages led to an adapted stage play, which premiered at Cort Theater in New York City on October 5, 1955. The play, while not a strict reproduction of the book, won both the Pulitzer for Theater and the Tony Award. In turn, Hollywood set out to produce a film version, which premiered on March 18, 1959 and would go on to win three Oscars.
The Diary of Anne Frank received both critical and popular acclaim. As of 2015, the book has been translated into over 60 different languages. Both its literary and historical importance cannot be overlooked. Dutch historian Jan Romein put it this way: "To me, however, this apparently inconsequential diary by a child... stammered out in a child's voice, embodies all the hideousness of fascism, more so than all the evidence at Nuremberg put together."
This letter demonstrates Otto Frank's lifelong commitment to publishing his daughter's writings. To him, they served as a celebration of her life; to humanity, they serve as a warning.
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