Anne Frank Betrayal Suspect Discovered After 77 Years


Jan. 18 2022, Published 3:04 p.m. ET

A cold case investigation on the diarist and holocaust victim Anne Frank may have revealed that the family were betrayed in World War II Amsterdam by a previously little-known figure, Reuters reports.

The world famous diarist is known for her personal entries during the time that her and her family were in hiding from the Nazis during WWII. Anne and seven other Jews were found from their hiding place on August 4, 1944 after nearly two years of hiding.

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The Cold Case Investigation

The team investigating the Franks' betrayal includes retired FBI agent, Vincent Pankoke, as well as over a dozen experts in history and criminology.

The team has been able to pinpoint a potential suspect, named Arnold van den Bergh, as being responsible for the Nazi party discovering the secret annex, and ultimately leading the majority of those inside to their deaths at concentration camps.

However, other experts on the case are not convinced by the team's findings.

Who Is The Suspect?

According to investigator Pieter van Twisk, the most significant piece of evidence has stemmed from a post-war dossier of information. Inside the dossier, the team claims, is a handwritten note addressed to the Frank patriarch, Otto, in which an unnamed author alleges Van den Bergh was responsible for the family's capture.

The note goes on to claim that Van den Bergh was in possession of Jews' hideout addresses, as a consequence of his membership to Amsterdam's wartime Jewish Council. The team suggests that Van den Bergh passed on a list of Jews in order to spare his own family.

Twisk stated that Otto Frank had been aware of the note, but had decided not to discuss it in public.

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An Enduring Legacy

The story of Anne Frank has managed to permeate throughout generations. Her candid entries detailing her thoughts on life, persecution under Nazi rule, as well as her feelings towards adolescence have often been used as a teaching tool for young and old readers alike.

Although a literary icon, Frank's diary has not been without its own share of controversy. Later editions of the book showed that earlier versions had censored various aspects of Anne's writing, including her discussing her sexuality and other intimate topics. A mixture of the publisher and her own father's actions were said to be responsible for the omissions.

Anne's diary was able to be preserved with great effort by Miep Gies, a family helper who kept the diary until Otto Frank returned after the war. It was published in 1947 and has continued to be translated into dozens of languages worldwide.

Response To The Investigation

The research has been met with welcome, however many are keen to point out that its findings cannot yet be verified. Some have questioned the team's reasoning and use of established historical fact.

Historian Erik Somers, a member of the Dutch NIOD institute for war, holocaust and genocide studies was one such voice. Somers had questions surrounding the discovered letter, and claimed that the investigators had made assumptions that are not currently historical consensus.

According to Somers, Van den Bergh "was a very influential man," and there may be a plethora of reasons that he was allowed to remain in Amsterdam until the end of the war.

Read more World War II related stories at the Inquisitr, such as the former concentration camp guard convicted at age 93.


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