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New research – Jewish notary is said to have given away Anne Frank’s hiding place


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The hiding place of the Jewish girl in Amsterdam was exposed in 1944. A group of researchers led by a former FBI investigator has found out who betrayed them to the Nazis.

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Anne Frank was arrested by the Nazis in 1944 and sent to a concentration camp.

Anne Frank Foundation, Amsterdam / photographer unknown

In her hiding place in Amsterdam she wrote her diary, which would become world famous.  Pictured is a reconstruction of Anne Frank in Madam Tussaud's wax museum in Berlin.

In her hiding place in Amsterdam she wrote her diary, which would become world famous. Pictured is a reconstruction of Anne Frank in Madam Tussaud’s wax museum in Berlin.

Reuters

Anne Frank's diary, which was published later, was published by her father after the war and gained worldwide fame.

Anne Frank’s diary, which was published later, was published by her father after the war and gained worldwide fame.

imago

  • The mystery of the betrayal of the then 15-year-old Jewess Anne Frank and her family to the Nazis has apparently been solved.

  • According to research by a team of researchers, she was betrayed by a notary, who was also Jewish.

  • His family survived the Nazi era – Anne Frank and her family died in concentration camps except for her father.

The hiding place of the Jewish girl Anne Frank and her family from the National Socialists was probably betrayed by a notary. The man was himself a Jew and wanted to save the life of his own family. That is the result of the long-term investigation that an international team presented to the Dutch media on Monday.

It is one of the great mysteries of history: for two years the Frank family and four other Jews lived in hiding from the German Nazis in the Secret Annex in Amsterdam. But on August 4, 1944, an SS commando stormed the house. For more than five years, the international cold case team (an unsolved criminal case from the past is referred to as a “cold case”) has now been investigating the question: How did the hiding place at Prinsengracht 263 become known? Was it coincidence? Was it treason?

“We checked a total of about 30 theories,” said journalist Pieter van Twisk, one of the leaders of the investigation. “We can say that 27 or 28 of them were very unlikely to impossible.”

Betrayal for the sake of your own family

The most likely answer is that notary Arnold van den Bergh handed the German occupiers a list of hiding places for Jews in Amsterdam to protect his own family from deportation. And the Secret Annex, where Anne Frank (1929 – 1945) wrote her world-famous diary, was also on this list. All residents were deported to concentration camps. Anne died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945 – she was just 15 years old. Only her father Otto survived.

The investigators rely primarily on a copy of an anonymous letter that Otto Frank received in 1946. It contains the name of the notary. The original of the letter has disappeared, but the team found a copy in the Amsterdam City Archives. At the time, the notary was a member of the Jewish Council, so he had many contacts and was initially protected from deportation. But in 1944 this protection was lost and he, his wife and their three daughters were threatened with deportation. The family survived.

None of the investigators want to pass judgment on the notary. “The only bad ones were the Nazis,” said former FBI agent Vince Pankoke, who was instrumental in the investigation. “Without her none of this would have happened.”

“It wasn’t a cold case – the case was frozen”

The Anne Frank Foundation also warns against drawing conclusions too quickly. Director Ronald Leopold told the radio station NPO1: “You have to be very careful before you write someone in history as a traitor to Anne Frank if you’re not 100 or 200 percent sure.” Leopold praised the “very good and careful examination”. But important questions are still open: Who wrote the anonymous letter and with what intention?

For former FBI agent Pankoke, this was one of the most difficult cases of his career, as he said: “This was not a cold case, this case was frozen.” Witnesses had long since died and important documents could not be found. The team used state-of-the-art techniques and methods to solve the case. For example, a gigantic amount of data was combed through with artificial intelligence.

However, 77 years after the end of the war, there is still no certainty, admitted investigator Pankoke. But he is convinced: “But our theory has a probability of more than 85 percent.”

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(DPA/trx)





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