One of the most mysterious case of World War II period has been solved after a cold-case investigation identified a Jewish notary as the prime suspect in the betrayal of diarist Anne Frank and her family.
According to a six-year inquiry of the case led by a former FBI agent, Arnold van den Bergh is suspected to have revealed the hiding place of the Frank family in Amsterdam to the Nazis in a bid to save his own.
According to a latest volume of text, this revelation comes from modern data-crunching techniques combined with a long-lost, anonymous note sent to Anne’s father Otto naming Van den Bergh.
The Anne Frank House museum said it was “impressed” by the evidence in the book being published on Tuesday by Canadian author Rosemary Sullivan, but that further investigation was needed.
Theories related to the incident said that the Nazi raid on August 4, 1944, that uncovered the secret annexe to an Amsterdam canalside house where Anne and her family hid for two years.
A team that included retired US FBI agent Vincent Pankoke and around 20 historians, criminologists, and data specialists identified a relatively unknown figure, Jewish notary Arnold van den Bergh, as a leading suspect in revealing the hideout.
Investigating team member Pieter van Twisk said the crucial piece of new evidence was an unsigned note to Anne’s father Otto found in an old post-war investigation dossier, specifically naming Van den Bergh and alleging he passed on the information. The note said Van den Bergh knew the addresses where Jews were hiding as a member of Amsterdam’s wartime Jewish Council and had passed lists of such addresses to the Nazis to save his own family.
The note said Van den Bergh had access to addresses where Jews were hiding as a member of Amsterdam’s wartime Jewish Council and had passed lists of such addresses to the Nazis to save his own family.
Twisk said only four out of the initial 32 names remained following the research, with Van den Bergh the lead suspect. Investigators confirmed that Otto, the only member of the family to survive the war, was aware of the note but chose never to speak of it publicly.
However, Van Twisk speculated that Frank’s reasons to remain silent about the allegation were likely that he could not be sure it was true, that he would not want the information to become public that could feed further anti-Semitism, and that he would not want Van den Bergh’s three daughters to be blamed for something their father might have done.
While other members of the Jewish Council were deported in 1943, Van den Bergh was able to remain in the Netherlands. He died in 1950.
About Anne Frank:
Anneliese Marie Frank was born on June 12, 1929 at the Maingau Red Cross Clinic in Frankfurt, Germany, to Edith and Otto Heinrich Frank. The Franks were liberal Jews, and did not observe all of the customs and traditions of Judaism. They lived in an assimilated community of Jewish and non-Jewish citizens of various religions.
Anne received an autograph book as a gift for her thirteenth birthday on 12 June 1942, which was bound with red-and-white checkered cloth and with a small lock on the front. On receiving it she decided she would use it as a diary, and she began writing in it almost immediately. In her entry dated 20 June 1942, she lists many of the restrictions placed upon the lives of the Dutch Jewish population.
Death of Anne Frank:
It is to be noted that Anne and her sister died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945, but her diary became one of the most haunting accounts of the Holocaust, selling some 30 million copies. Retired FBI detective Vince Pankoke was enlisted by a Dutch documentary-maker in 2016 to head a team to crack the “cold case” that two previous police probes had failed to.