Who betrayed Anne Frank? The answer may finally be found, nearly 80 years after the Nazis stormed the Jewish family’s hiding place in Amsterdam.
“The Memoirs of Anne Frank” is among the most read books in the world. She gave a voice and a face to the millions of victims of the Holocaust. Who revealed it was a mystery.
With family and four friends, the teenage Jewish girl hid in an annex in a canal-side backyard in Amsterdam for two years, until she was found on August 4, 1944.
Anne Frank died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in February 1945, most likely of typhus.
Now, a team led by retired FBI veteran Vince Bangkoki has spent six years investigating the case. They name the man they think is silent about the Frank family.
This revelation is the basis of Rosemary Sullivan’s book, Who Betrayed Anne Frank? , which was published this week by publisher Harper Collins Nordic in Norwegian.
Director Thijs Bayens hired FBI agent Vince Bangkok, who brought with him a psychiatrist, war crime expert, historians, criminologists, and an army of archives.
– Their professional skill helped us understand and contextualize the crime of 1944. We had to look at things differently, says Bangkokchi CBS “60 Minutes”.
The use of artificial intelligence
The American broadcasting company has made a documentary about the case.
The Bangkok team used artificial intelligence to identify potential threats to the Frank family near the bunker. They found well-known silencers and members of the Nazi Party in the neighbourhood.
They have also appeared in the depths of the city archives in Amsterdam. Among other things, they found Anne Frank’s settlement card, identification identifying her as “Israeli” or Jewish.
Frank’s family – father Otto, mother Edith and daughters Anne and Margot – fled Germany after the Nazis seized power to escape Hitler.
Of the eight who were removed from the bunker behind Prinsengracht 263 in 1944, only Otto Frank survived the concentration camps.
Two years after the war, he published the diary of his daughter, who was taken care of by a shrewd office worker. But he surrendered early to search for those who betrayed him.
Run Nazi missions
Vince Bangkok and his team collected letters, maps, photos, books and other documents into a database to analyze connections between people and motivations.
In the end, they turned their attention to the Jewish Council, which the Nazis had established to carry out their tasks in the Jewish community. The bonus was that we avoided the gas chambers.
The council was dissolved in September 1943. So investigators began searching for council members on lists of concentration camp names.
No man was found there. He was not in captivity, but lived openly in Amsterdam.
Arnold van der Berg.
Vince Bangkok believes that the former prominent Jewish businessman must have given the Germans something for himself and his family to escape the death camps.
Then it turned out that his name appeared before, when in 1963 the Dutch police investigated a raid on the Frank family, as they did in vain in 1948.
In a report from a recent investigation, van der Berg is mentioned in a small section.
“Otto Frank said that after his release he received an anonymous note that mentioned the name of the man who revealed his hiding place, like Arnold van der Berg,” Bangkoki told CBS.
In 2018, the FBI team found the son of a police investigator since 1963. At his home, they found Otto Frank’s copy of the letter identified by Van der Berg.
The businessman is said to have given the Nazis a list of addresses where Jews were hiding. And in the National Archives, the Pankoke team revealed records that someone from the Jewish Council, of which Van den Berg was a member, gave the Nazis such lists.
Lists without names
– There is no evidence that he knew who was hiding at these addresses, says Bangkok, who believes van der Berg acted in this way to protect his family.
Arnold van der Berg died in 1950.
The Pancoke team also found that Miep Gies, one of those who helped the family hide in the annex, in 1994 claimed the person who exposed them had died before 1960.
Otto Frank died in 1980.
Several years after the war, Anne Frank’s father is said to have told journalist Friso that the family had been betrayed by a member of the Jewish community.
Author Rosemary Sullivan says that van der Berg was a well-known notary.
– He gave a list of addresses where the Jews were known to hide in order to save themselves and their families. Sullivan says, I personally think he’s a tragic character Watchman.
Breathe in the flames
Vince Bangkok believes that even after the war, anti-Semitism may explain why Otto Frank keeps to himself that he received a tip-off about the man who betrayed his family.
“Maybe he felt that if he brought up the matter, as long as Arnold van den Berg was a Jew, he would breathe more forcefully in the flames,” says the FBI agent.
His team consulted with Orthodox Rabbi Menachem Sebag in Amsterdam, who recalls that Nazi ideology dehumanized Jews during the Holocaust:
– Returning to history and searching for the truth is in fact restoring the humanity of the Jewish people. Although sometimes it means finding Jews who are not behaving morally right. Because that’s how people are when they face existential threats…
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