An investigating team is convinced that Anne’s father, Otto Frank, knew who the traitor was, but chose not to reveal his name
One of the remaining mysteries from the Second World War may have been solved after an international team of investigators revealed the name of the person who “very likely” betrayed young Jewish diarist Anne Frank.
The research group, which included historians, criminologists, psychologists, a handwriting expert and even a retired FBI special agent, conducted a scrupulous six-year-long analysis of events leading to the discovery of the concealed annex above an Amsterdam canalside warehouse, where Anne’s family hid for two years until August 4, 1944.
The researchers concluded the “Most likely” scenario is that the Frank family were betrayed by Jewish notary Arnold van den Bergh. Lead investigator Pieter van Twisk is convinced that Anne’s father, Otto, who survived the Holocaust and later published his daughter’s diaries, knew the man was responsible but chose not to reveal the truth.
NRC Dutch newspaper interviewed van Twisk and stated that the investigation is the first ever of its type. It was also designed to be a modern, proper police investigation. The crowdfunding, grants and private investments were part of the funding.
Initially, there were 30 possible versions of what happened. But the long list of people and inquiry lines slowly decreased.
“Frank was very preoccupied with the anti-Semitism that resurfaced after the war. He was probably afraid that this would be used to say: look, those Jews did it all themselves,” van Twisk explained.
Arnold van den Bergh was one of the founding members of the Jewish Council. He helped organise the expulsion of Jews and also attended meetings of the Emigration Department. This department compiled the list for deportation.
Researchers say he wanted to protect his family and give up Frank’s information. According to them, he was trying to protect his family and himself by giving up the information.
A letter that Otto Frank had sent to van den Bergh was an anonymous one. It was authenticated by modern techniques. According to researchers, the man knew the Franks’ hiding place and had the motivation to reveal it. In fact, van den Bergh and his family survived. He died in 1950 from throat cancer.
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While the investigators acknowledge that not all the evidence would be convincing, they claim it to be the most persuasive scenario.
“This is just one example of many. In today’s crime solving, they want positive DNA evidence or video surveillance tape. We can’t give you any of that. But in a historical case this old, with all the evidence that we obtained, I think it’s pretty convincing,” ex-FBI agent Vince Pankoke told CBS.
The details of the investigation have been described in a new book called The Betrayal of Anne Frank, by Rosemary Sullivan, as well as a CBS documentary.
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