Book includes findings of a 6-year-long investigation that claims the Franks were betrayed
Investigation Leads to Surprise Suspect in Anne Frank’s Betrayal
A Dutch publisher has suspended the printing of a book that suggested that a Jewish notary is “very likely” to have been the person who betrayed the whereabouts of Anne Frank and her family to the Nazis.
The book “The Betrayal of Anne Frank: A Cold Case Investigation,” by Rosemary Sullivan was published on 18 January.
The book included the findings of a six-year-investigation by around 20 historians, criminologists and data specialists and suggested that businessman Arnold van den Bergh leaked the information that Ms Frank was hiding with her family at her father Otto’s place of work.
The book received backlash from historians and other critics who said that it was full of errors and provided no evidence.
In an internal letter, the book’s Dutch publisher Ambo Anthos said that it is suspending printing.
“At present, the conclusions of the study are being questioned by several researchers. We are very sorry that the content of an edition of our publisher provokes such a reaction.”
“As a publisher it is not possible to assess all details of the arguments of a team of researchers and author for correctness or substantiation, but we are responsible for the publication in the Dutch language area,” they said.
“We realise that we have gained momentum through the international publication and that a more critical stance could have been taken here. We are waiting for answers from the research team to the questions that have arisen and are currently delaying the decision to print if necessary.”
One of the investigators quoted in the book Pieter van Twisk said to Reuters that he was surprised by the letter.
“We had a meeting last week with the editors and talked about the criticism and why we felt it could be deflected and agreed we would come with a detailed reaction later,” he said.
The book had been called out by John Goldsmith, president of the Basel-based Anne Frank Fund, who said that the claim was tantamount to a “conspiracy theory”.
“It contributes not to uncovering the truth but to confusion, and in addition, it is full of errors,” he said to Swiss newspaper Blick am Sonntag.
“Now the main statement is: a Jew betrayed Jews. That stays in the memory and it is unsettling.”
Mr Van den Bergh’s relatives also criticised the investigation and said that he was innocent and that they were “upset” his reputation had been hurt by the claims in the book, reported The Times of Israel.
The Franks were discovered on 4 August 1944, having spent two years hiding in a secret annex attached to what had been Anne’s father Otto’s place of work.
Later her diaries were published by him after he became the only one in the group to survive the war.
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