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Who betrayed Anna Frank and her family?…
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Who betrayed Anna Frank and her family? After 77 years, investigators have a name

February 01, 2022 • By Mark Bennett
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How did the German Gestapo, on August 4, 1944, discover the exact place where Anne Frank's family had been hiding? It is a mystery that, perhaps, finally after 77 years, has an answer. Anne Frank's life was extinguished at the tender, young age of only 15 - like that of many other Jewish children during the Shoah. Her diaries made her famous, and we remember her and her heroic fortitude to this day. Anna lived hidden for two years, together with her family, in a secret hiding place in Amsterdam before being discovered and deported together with many others to a concentration camp. Only Anne's father, Otto Frank, returned alive from the concentration camp and the publication of her daughter's diaries is due to him. And this is a father who has never stopped looking for the truth and who now, after 77 years, seems to have unearthed it.

via: BBC

image: Wikipedia

An initial investigation into who had revealed the Frank family's hiding place to the German Gestapo was initiated in 1947 by the Political Police Investigation Department. The investigation ended with the accusation of a storekeeper whose shop was situated just below the Frank's hiding place - Mr. Willem van Maaren. But by April of the following year, the man was acquitted because the evidence against him was "very tenuous". However, Otto Frank alway thought that it was perhaps Jews themselves who had betrayed the family.

And now, after years of investigation, it seems that the answer is both definitive and disturbing. An investigative team, consisting of Thijs Bayens, Pieter van Twisk, a historian and journalist, and Vince Pankoke, a former FBI agent, have uncovered the truth of the mystery after 5 solid years of investigation. With the help of dozens of researchers, archivists, forensic analysts, historians, criminologists and computer technicians, they have studied and reexamined thousands of documents. They set out on the trail of anyone who may have had contact with Otto Frank and his family, including their living descendants. Finally, the answer emerged from the investigation: Arnold van den Bergh, a Jewish notary who worked in Amsterdam, is now identified as the most likely traitor who revealed the Frank's hiding spot.

image: Wikipedia

What made the investigation team suspicious of Van den Bergh was the way the Nazis treated the Jewish notary, who was at that time a member of the collaborative Jewish Council. Van den Bergh, in fact, enforced Nazi policies in the Jewish quarters and, even after the dissolution of the Council, he continued to be left unmolested by the regime. Something, however, must have changed in Van den Bergh's life and forced him to committ his act of betrayal. Former FBI agent, Vince Pankoke, explained:

"When Van den Bergh eventually lost all his protections that exempted him from having to go to the camps, he had to provide something valuable to the Nazis he had contact with in order to allow him and his wife remain safe.". So, that's why the notary revealed the Frank family's hiding place to the Nazis. Otto Frank, therefore, had been correct all along: it had been a Jew who had betrayed them.

Did the notary have a choice? We do not know and we are not here to judge the facts of the past - we are here only to reveal the true facts of history and to remember the events from the most traumatic event suffered in Europe in the twentieth century. We remember it happened so that it never happens again.

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