The publisher of Anne Frank’s diary, famously written at the height of the Second World War, has become embroiled in a royalties battle after claiming that an edition published in 1986 is the definitive work - so maintaining their $1.2 -1.5m per year income from the book.
Despite being published 41 years after Frank’s death in Bergen Belsen at the age of 15 The Anne Frank Fund names her father Otto as a legal co-author to stretch copyright protection a further couple of decades into the future.
Otto Frank died in 1980 and was the only family member to survive the war, publishing the first edition of the diary in 1947 after collating two overlapping and incomplete versions written by Anne. In so doing he was credited with creating ‘readable books from Anne Frank’s original writings’ by the Swiss based fund.
The subsequent 1986 edition included several additional passages originally edited out by Otto.
Board member Yves Kugelmann said: “The whole purpose is not to get more money for us because none of us gets any money out of it, we are all volunteers. Otto Frank wanted all the income from the book to be donated to charity and this is what we are doing.”
The fund has promised to pursue all legal avenues to maintain its copyright, which it would hold until 2037 based on a publication date of 1986 in the UK.