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Man Accused Of Betraying Anne Frank Could Be Innocent

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Man Accused Of Betraying Anne Frank Could Be Innocent

Up until now, the betrayal of teenage diarist Anne Frank and her family during WWII has been inconclusive for 77-years.

A cold case team recently stated they think a prominent Jewish notary called Arnold van den Bergh disclosed the secret annex hiding place of the Frank family to German occupiers to save his own family from the Nazi concentration camps.

However, his granddaughter believes there are inconsistencies in the evidence provided and it is far from certain if van den Bergh really did betray the family.

She claims that van den Bergh, his wife and three daughters were all hiding within separate locations when Anne Frank's family were caught by the Nazis.

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Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

The family member believes that her grandfather had no motive to turn them in.

Speaking to MailOnline, family friend Paul Theelen, whose grandfather hid Mr van den Bergh's youngest daughter Anne-Marie between 1943 and 1944, said: "She is worried that this is affecting her family's good name. 

"That is already the case this week. She is upset about the revelations and doesn't know if they are true or not.

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"She did not know anything about these claims until the researchers told her about them.

"They are claiming that her grandfather betrayed Anne Frank to save his own family.

"But that just doesn't add up as a motive. He had three daughters and all of them were in hiding at the time.

"He was also in hiding with his wife in Laren so there was no motivation.

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"He was an intelligent man and it is possible that he may have delayed his own deportation in 1943 – but he ended up having to hide."

Filmmaker Thijs Bayens, who had the idea to put together the cold case team, said: “We have investigated over 30 suspects in 20 different scenarios, leaving one scenario we like to refer to as the most likely scenario."

Bayens was quick to add that 'we don’t have 100 percent certainty', telling the Associated Press: "There is no smoking gun because betrayal is circumstantial."

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The Franks and four other Jews hid in the annex, accessible by a secret staircase concealed behind a bookcase, from July 1942 until August 1944, when they were discovered and deported to concentration camps.

Only Anne’s father, Otto Frank, survived the war. Anne and her sister died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp when Anne was just 15.

The diary Anne wrote while in hiding was published after the war and became a symbol of hope and resilience that has been translated into dozens of languages and read by millions.

But the identity of the person who gave away the location of their hiding place has always remained a mystery, despite previous investigations.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: World War 2

Anish Vij
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