Anne Frank: A Victim of Nazi Atrocities
Anne Frank and Nazis
Anne Frank (1929–1945) was one of millions of people in Europe who were kill by the Nazis. People read her secret diary, which became famous.
In 1947, a Dutch version of Anne Frank’s diary called “Het Achterhuis” (The Secret Annex) came out. A lot of languages have translated it, like “The Diary of Anne Frank.”
The Frank family took refuge in the back of the Travis & Co. business building at Prinsengracht 263 in Amsterdam beginning in early July 1942. The family of four stayed with cousins, the van Daan family. It was here that Anne Frank hid from the Nazis for two years.
On August 4, 1944, Travis & Co. got three Dutch police officers and a Gestapo agent named Karl Josef Silberbauer. The Frank and van Daan family hid while the police looked for them.
After the search, office worker Miep Gies went to where Anne Frank was hide and found her diary. Miep Gies kept the book without reading it because she thought Anne Frank would want it back.
At the same time, everyone in the Frank family was go to a prison camp.
Anne Frank and the Theory of Betrayal
How did the Nazis find where the Frank family was hiding after Anne Frank was caught? The idea of betrayal makes you wonder who told the Nazis where the Frank family was.
Viktor Kugler plays a big role in betrayal theory. Who is Viktor Kugler? He was a respected coworker who ran Otto Frank’s business. Kugler often sent food and other things to the Frank family. He saw the police search at the Travis & Co. office.
Rick Kardonne and Eda Saphiro wrote about Victor Kugler in “Victor Kugler: The man who hid Anne Frank.” They said that Wilhelm van Maaren told people where the Frank family was hiding.
In her diary, Anne Frank often wrote about Van Maaren. Van Maaren worked at the place where Anne Frank hid.
When the Germans took over, Van Maaren was looked into for possible ties to the Nazis. The police didn’t find much proof, so they let him go.
Tony Ahlers might be a Nazi spy. In “The Hidden Life of Otto Frank,” Carol Ahn Lee says that Ahlers betrayed Anne Frank. In 1941, Ahlers forced Otto Frank to work with the Nazis.
One more possibility is Anna van Dijks. For his book “The Backyard of the Secret Annex,” Gerard Kremer says that Van Dijks worked for the Nazis. Because he helped the Nazis, Van Dijks was killed in 1948.
The Newest Investigations
In 2016, a group of 20 scholars and criminologists began a study. Vincent Pankoke, a former FBI agent, was in charge of this group.
Their five-year investigation was made public on January 17, 2022. Arnold van den Bergh was thought to have betrayed Anne Frank.
Critical to this investigation were the tin letters. Otho Frank, Anne Frank’s dad, got a tin letter in the 1950s. Otto Frank was the only one of his family to survive Auschwitz. He got to Amsterdam in early June 1945. Edith Frank-Hollander, his wife, and their daughters Anne and Margot Frank all died at Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen.
Miep Gies gave Otto Frank Anne Frank’s book when she heard that she had died.
What was in the tin letter? In “Wer verriet Anne Frank?” published in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on January 17, 2022, Thomas Gutschker said that Arnold van den Bergh (1886–1950) gave the Nazis the names of Jews hiding, including Otto Frank.
Who is Arnold van den Bergh? Jewish accountant and member of the Jewish Association. Because he had ties to the Nazis, Van den Bergh may not sent away until 1944. When safety wasn’t guaranteed, the lawyer allegedly told the police where the Jews in Amsterdam were hiding.
Van den Bergh did not want to go to a prison camp with his wife, three children, or himself. A Jew had to choose whether to work with them or not. As reported by Ludger Kazmierczak in “Anne Frank wohl von jüdischem Notar verraten” on tagesschau.de (January 17, 2022). Vincent Pankoke said they would be go to prison camps.
Criticism of the Results
Arnold van den Bergh’s charge of betrayal has caused a stir. Some scholars don’t agree with these claims.
Vince Pankoke said that his team was 85% sure of the results.
People who study history know about the tin letter proof. But a lot of scholars don’t believe the tin letter is real.
Ben Wallet, a historian, said, “Someone should not be accused of betrayal based on a tin letter alone.”
Felix Bohr wrote about this line in “Historiker sprechen von »verleumderischem Unsinn” in Der Spiegel (January 18, 2022). It shows tin letter doubt.
Johannes Houwink ten Cate, an expert on the Holocaust and other genocides, agreed. Ten Cate says that Pankoke’s figures are just guesses. Ten Cate had looked for 35 years and had never found lists of hiding Jews’ addresses. Some people don’t believe Arnold van den Bergh gave the Nazis a list.
Ronald Leopold, who runs the Anne Frank Foundation, also didn’t agree with Pankoke’s team’s results. Leopold said, “When researching history, one must be very careful about giving the name of a traitor if one is not 100 percent or even 200 percent sure.”
“Jüdischer Notar soll Versteck von Anne Frank a Nazis verraten haben” (January 18, 2022) by Annete Brissel talked about Leopold.
When you study the past, you can’t really guess what happened. To avoid guesswork, it’s important to be sure of both theory and proof.
The thought of treason is still a puzzle. It’s possible that finding Anne Frank’s hiding place was a mistake.