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Possible Nazi Informant in Anne Frank case identified


eight bits
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A Dutch media venture commissioned a "cold case" investigation into the 1944 arrest of Anne Frank, her family and others hiding with them. Heading the team was a retired American FBI agent.

A short version is here:

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-60024228

A longer interview ("60 Minutes" CBS television USA), including a transcript, is here:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/anne-frank-betrayal-investigation-60-minutes-2022-01-16/

Although I wonder how much confidence can be placed in the result, it is hard not to admire the effort, skill, and technological sophistication that went into this historical investigation.

For the record, there is still a viable theory that the Frank family wasn't betrayed, but maybe were simply the victims of the full-bore Nazi pursuit of the Dutch Jewish community. Also, the case against the suspect here is circumstantial. Not frivolous, IMO, but far from certain.

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I watched this on 60 Minutes last night. They presented a good case against van den Bergh but like they said, all it would take is someone hearing a cough, someone seen in a window or a light on at the wrong time.

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Since it is not certain, I think dragging the family name van den Bergh through the mud like this is cruel.  I'm sure he has relatives alive today.   

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14 hours ago, eight bits said:

A Dutch media venture commissioned a "cold case" investigation into the 1944 arrest of Anne Frank, her family and others hiding with them. Heading the team was a retired American FBI agent.

A short version is here:

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-60024228

A longer interview ("60 Minutes" CBS television USA), including a transcript, is here:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/anne-frank-betrayal-investigation-60-minutes-2022-01-16/

Although I wonder how much confidence can be placed in the result, it is hard not to admire the effort, skill, and technological sophistication that went into this historical investigation.

For the record, there is still a viable theory that the Frank family wasn't betrayed, but maybe were simply the victims of the full-bore Nazi pursuit of the Dutch Jewish community. Also, the case against the suspect here is circumstantial. Not frivolous, IMO, but far from certain.

The gentleman with glasses in between two men one with a beard is van den BerghSee the source image

 

Edited by Manwon Lender
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5 hours ago, susieice said:

Who were the other possible betrayers that were investigated? These are short synopses and why they were eliminated.

I do admire the investigation for generating new or recovered knowledge, that the van den Bergh family was not sent to the camps, apparently alone among the prominent Jewish-council members, and apparently contrary to the working assumptions of previous investigations.

On the other hand, while that suggests van den Bergh had something of value to the Nazi occupiers to trade for his own safety, that something would not necessarily be the Frank family.

On 1/17/2022 at 11:20 AM, Myles said:

Since it is not certain, I think dragging the family name van den Bergh through the mud like this is cruel.  I'm sure he has relatives alive today.   

I can't speak for the family, but there are some rogues in my ancestry, some of the difficulty explained if not excused by the religious persecutions and warfare of the times they lived in. I can say, speaking for myself, that knowing that I wouldn't exist except for what my ancestors did imparts a certain perspective on the bad news.

In the descendants' shoes, I'd want to know. Acknowledged truth is a powerful cleanser.

Just my personal opinion, of course.

 

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35 minutes ago, eight bits said:

I do admire the investigation for generating new or recovered knowledge, that the van den Bergh family was not sent to the camps, apparently alone among the prominent Jewish-council members, and apparently contrary to the working assumptions of previous investigations.

On the other hand, while that suggests van den Bergh had something of value to the Nazi occupiers to trade for his own safety, that something would not necessarily be the Frank family.

I can't speak for the family, but there are some rogues in my ancestry, some of the difficulty explained if not excused by the religious persecutions and warfare of the times they lived in. I can say, speaking for myself, that knowing that I wouldn't exist except for what my ancestors did imparts a certain perspective on the bad news.

In the descendants' shoes, I'd want to know. Acknowledged truth is a powerful cleanser.

Just my personal opinion, of course.

 

The truth is important.   The issue I see is saying we "think" he may have been the one.  

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3 hours ago, Myles said:

The truth is important.   The issue I see is saying we "think" he may have been the one.  

There is a shortcoming of this being a "media venture." Everything has to come back to the framing story that will sell the books and movie tickets that pay the bills.

If anybody else had discovered that a prominent Jewish family widely thought to have been sent to the camps was, in fact, left alone and even lived somewhat comfortably, then that would be a marvelous discovery, well worth investigating as a remarkable historical circumstance in its own right. That's a long way from the specific act of betraying the Franks, but if the overall project is to determine how the Franks were found out, then the distance may seem shorter somehow.

It isn't "we" who think any of this, but "they," the investigators. Based on the press coverage, I'm not convinced they have made their case against van den Bergh for complicity in the Frank arrests. Nevertheless, the matter of his unusual survival is of legitimate historical interest, and there're a lot of uncertain hypotheses in history - what some investigator thinks, maybe with some reasonable grounds, but cannot strictly prove.

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It was a complicated mess as, apparently, there were Jews, then there were Jews. Some escaped persecution by hiding in the mouth of the Nazi wolf and others were aided and abetted by Nazis themselves--even Himmler stepped in at least once.

10 Jews Who Fought In Hitler's Nazi Army - Listverse

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  • 2 weeks later...

The publisher of the book seems to be having some second thoughts

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-60204868
 

Quote

 

But the book has gained criticism from many since its publication. For example, the Swiss-based Anne Frank Fund, talking to the Swiss press, said the investigation was "full of errors."

Following the criticism, the Dutch publisher wrote in an internal email to the book's Canadian author, Rosemary Sullivan, that it should have taken a more "critical stance" on the book.

"We await the answers from the researchers to the questions that have emerged and are delaying the decision to print another run," it said.

"We offer our sincere apologies to anyone who might feel offended by the book."

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

A book that claimed to have solved the question of who betrayed Anne Frank has been recalled by its Dutch publisher after its findings were discredited.

The book's investigating team suggested a Jewish man called Arnold van den Bergh was responsible for her and her family's arrests during World War Two.

But since it was published in January, the work has been widely criticised.

Now a new report by a team of World War Two experts and historians has said its research does not stand up to scrutiny.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-60843577

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8 hours ago, Eldorado said:

A book that claimed to have solved the question of who betrayed Anne Frank has been recalled by its Dutch publisher after its findings were discredited.

The book's investigating team suggested a Jewish man called Arnold van den Bergh was responsible for her and her family's arrests during World War Two.

But since it was published in January, the work has been widely criticised.

Now a new report by a team of World War Two experts and historians has said its research does not stand up to scrutiny.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-60843577

That is why they should have named the person if they did not know for certain.  I hope the family can sue them.

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