×

World

Man Who Betrayed Anne Frank To Nazis Identified After 77 Years

The findings of the new research will be published in a book by Canadian author Rosemary Sullivan, "The Betrayal of Anne Frank".

Anne Frank Betrayal Suspect Identified After 77 Years
‘The Diary of a Young Girl’ in which Anne Frank documented her life while in hiding from 1942 to 1944. (Photo:File)

New Delhi: The man who betrayed Anne Frank and her family to the Nazis appears to have finally been outed, 77 years after the diarist’s death. Frank, who died aged 15, was a German-Dutch diarist of Jewish heritage and emerged as one of the most discussed victims of the Holocaust. Her name became popular posthumously with the 1947 publication of ‘The Diary of a Young Girl’ in which she documented her life while in hiding from 1942 to 1944.

Her diary, published after her death, is the most famous first-hand account of Jewish life during the war. Anne and seven other Jews were discovered by the Nazis on Aug 4 of that year, after they had hid for nearly two years in a secret annex above a canal-side warehouse in Amsterdam. All were deported and Anne died in the Bergen Belsen camp at age 15.

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. Some other experts emphasised that the evidence against him was not conclusive.

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 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.

The team, made up of historians and other experts, spent six years using modern investigative techniques to crack the “cold case”. That included using computer algorithms to search for connections between many different people, something that would have taken humans thousands of hours.

The Anne Frank House Foundation was not involved in the cold case investigation, but shared information from its archives to help. The findings of the new research will be published in a book by Canadian author Rosemary Sullivan, “The Betrayal of Anne Frank”.

(With Inputs from PTI)

ALSO READ: Suriya’s Jai Bhim’ Features On Oscars’ YouTube Channel