“Forget me not”
Juultje Ketellapper’s friendship book, with the verse by Anne, July 1939.
Amsterdam , 6/26/2013
Juultje Ketellapper was a classmate and childhood friend of Anne Frank. She was born in the same month and year as Anne: Anne on 12 June 1929 and Juultje on 26 June 1929, 84 years ago today. In her recently published book ‘The Secret Museum’ Molly Oldfield writes about both girls, and about Juultje’s poesiealbum (friendship book), which includes a rhyme by Anne. Molly writes: “I felt incredibly moved. I was looking at a true hidden treasure: a memory of a happy time when Anne Frank was a spirited girl writing a poem to her friend.”
A poesiealbum is a Dutch tradition in which childhood friends write verses in an album as mementos for later in life. These ‘friendship books’ were very popular with Anne and her friends. On the first page of her poesiealbum, Juultje wrote: “I was given this album on my birthday by my friend Kitty Egyedi, and I hope I will have fond memories of everyone who writes in it. Amsterdam, 26 June 1939.” She first gave it to Kitty to write in, and then to Anne, who wrote on the third and fourth page of the album, with her verse on the right hand page and a photo of herself with the words “Forget me not” on the left.
What shall I write upon this leaf?
Wait, dear Juultje, I already know:
Health to you, and all the best!
Go out into the world, be good and brave.
Whatever your fate will be, always remember:
After every rain comes sunshine.
In remembrance of your friend
Anne’s tenth birthday, 12 June 1939, with friends on the Merwedeplein square in Amsterdam. Left to right: Lucie van Dijk, Anne Frank, Sanne Ledermann, Hanneli Goslar, Juultje Ketellapper, Kitty Egyedi, Mary Bos, Ietje Swillens, Martha van den Berg.
Like Anne, Juultje did not survive the war. She was killed on 9 July 1943 in Sobibor. Kitty Egyedi did survive. She was given Juultje’s friendship book, which had been preserved, in 1955. In it she wrote: ‘4 Dec. ’55 – sadly received by Kitty Egyedi’. Kitty later donated the album to the Anne Frank House.