Doubt over Anne Frank betrayal as publisher apologizes for controversial new book

A Dutch publishing house has apologized for a book claiming a fellow Jew turned Anne Frank over to the Nazis in 1944.

Ambo Anthos said further prints of The Betrayal of Anne Frank would be put on hold until more research is done.

The book suggested that Arnold van den Bergh, a Jewish notary, was behind the deportation of the chronicler and seven other Jews.

The publisher said the investigation into who revealed the Frank family’s Amsterdam hideout initially seemed “valuable”.

But in a statement to ‘anyone who feels offended by the book’, Ambo Anthos said they were carried away by the ‘momentum’ of international publication and admitted they should have taken a more ‘critical’ attitude. “.

It comes after the notary’s family protested there were inconsistencies in evidence that he betrayed 15-year-old Frank and others by handing over addresses of Jewish shelters to the Gestapo.

Pieter van Twisk, a member of the investigation team, told Dutch public broadcaster NOS he was puzzled by the publisher’s apology and insisted the claims had been duly cautioned in the delivered.

A Dutch publishing house has apologized for a book claiming a fellow Jew turned Anne Frank over to the Nazis in 1944. Ambo Anthos said further printings of The Betrayal of Anne Frank would be suspended until that more research be done (Anne Frank pictured)

The book accused Amsterdam notary Arnold van den Bergh, pictured, of revealing where the teenager was hiding and giving addresses of Jewish refuges to the Gestapo.

The book accused Amsterdam notary Arnold van den Bergh, pictured, of revealing where the teenager was hiding and giving addresses of Jewish refuges to the Gestapo.

Ambo Anthos said further printings of The Betrayal of Anne Frank would be put on hold until more research is carried out (pictured: Anne Marie van den Bergh, the daughter of Jewish notary Arnold van den Bergh)

Ambo Anthos said further printings of The Betrayal of Anne Frank would be put on hold until more research is carried out (pictured: Anne Marie van den Bergh, the daughter of Jewish notary Arnold van den Bergh)

Published on January 18, Rosemary Sullivan’s book on the betrayal of Anne Frank is based on six years of research by a team led by Vince Pankoke, a retired FBI detective.

The book was written by Sullivan after an expert team of cold case researchers said they had solved the mystery of the 77-year-old named Mr van den Bergh as the man who informed the Nazis of the secret hideout of the Frank family in Amsterdam during World War II. .

The research further implicated that the Jewish notary, who died of throat cancer in 1950, had used the addresses of Jewish hideouts as a form of life insurance for his family, as Van den Bergh and his daughter did not were never sent to concentration. fields.

Meanwhile, Frank died at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany in February 1945 at the age of just 15.

But historians and researchers, including the Anne Frank Fund, said van den Bergh’s theory was based on assumptions and did not provide clear evidence that the notary was responsible.

Otto Frank is pictured with his daughters Margot and Anne (seated on his lap), circa 1931

Otto Frank is pictured with his daughters Margot and Anne (seated on his lap), circa 1931

Historians and researchers, including the Anne Frank Fund, have said van den Bergh's theory was based on assumptions.  Pictured: The Anne Frank House in Amsterdam

Historians and researchers, including the Anne Frank Fund, have said van den Bergh’s theory was based on assumptions. Pictured: The Anne Frank House in Amsterdam

Mr van den Bergh came under suspicion from the start of the investigation as he was named as the person who betrayed Anne Frank’s family in an anonymous letter sent to her father Otto shortly after the end of the war.

The researchers concluded that Otto chose not to make the letter public at the time because he feared potentially encouraging anti-Semitism by naming a Jewish man as responsible for the death of his iconic daughter.

Mr van den Bergh was also a member of the Jewish Council of Amsterdam which had access to long lists of local Jews. The council was widely accused after the war of collaborating with their Nazi overlords.

But retired electrical engineer and family friend Mr Theelen said: ‘Only a few people from the Jewish Council survived the war, and it’s quite possible that someone held a grudge against him at because of the position he held and wrote the letter to Otto Frank. It could also have been a rival.

“How could he have traveled to Amsterdam to inform the German authorities about the Franks while he was hiding in Laren? He himself would have been captured.

Speaking exclusively to MailOnline, family friend Paul Theelen (left), whose grandfather hid Mr van den Bergh's youngest daughter, Anne-Marie (right) between 1943 and 1944, said:

Paul Theelen (left), whose grandfather hid Mr van den Bergh’s youngest daughter, Anne-Marie (right) between 1943 and 1944, argued the Jewish notary could not have betrayed Anne Frank to the Nazis. “How could he have traveled to Amsterdam to inform the German authorities about the Franks while he was hiding in Laren? He would have been captured himself,” he said.

The photo shows the house where Anne Frank lived in Amsterdam and where she hid with her parents to escape the Nazis between June 1942 and August 4, 1944

The photo shows the house where Anne Frank lived in Amsterdam and where she hid with her parents to escape the Nazis between June 1942 and August 4, 1944

Anne Marie van den Bergh, the daughter of Jewish notary Arnold van den Bergh pictured (right) as bridesmaid at the wedding of Riet Bastiaensen, the daughter of Leo Bastiaensen who gave her a hiding place during World War II, who was accused of betraying Anne Franck in 1944

Anne Marie van den Bergh, the daughter of Jewish notary Arnold van den Bergh pictured (right) as bridesmaid at the wedding of Riet Bastiaensen, the daughter of Leo Bastiaensen who gave her a hiding place during World War II, who was accused of betraying Anne Franck in 1944

“Also, by the time the Franks were arrested, it was a few months after D-Day and it was clear to everyone that the Germans were losing the war. Why would he choose to betray d’ other Jews when he knew the war would end soon?

“He would have planned to go back to his activities and get back to his life, and he wouldn’t have wanted something like that to weigh on him,” Theelen continued.

“When I spoke to her granddaughter on the phone, she wanted to counter what was being said about her. It’s a hard thing to do because the book and the movie exist, and it’s a story that goes around the world. This means that it is impossible to delete all information.

MailOnline can also reveal that Mr van den Bergh lost a number of relatives during the Holocaust, potentially demolishing the theory that his family received preferential treatment over other Jews as the war progressed.

Among them were his sister Zadok who died aged 61 in Auschwitz in July 1944 and a niece Millie who died aged 23 in June 1943 in an extermination camp in Sobibór, Poland.

Anne Frank is known to have gone into hiding with her Jewish family in 1942 in the cramped annex of her father’s spice warehouse at Prinsengracht 263 where they were kept alive by employees bringing them food after German troops occupied the Netherlands.

She and her sister Margot died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945 shortly before its liberation by Allied forces while their mother Edith starved to death in Auschwitz.

Four members of the Van Pels family and the Jewish dentist Fritz Pfeffer who shared the family hideout also died in concentration camps. The only person from the annex to survive was Anne’s father, Otto, who was released from Auschwitz.

Anne-Marie hid in a gap between the building's original roof and a new roof section built when the house of Mr Theelen's grandfather, Leo Bastiaensen, was extended in 1939. Above: An original sketch of the hiding place

Anne-Marie hid in a gap between the building’s original roof and a new roof section built when the house of Mr Theelen’s grandfather, Leo Bastiaensen, was extended in 1939. Above: An original sketch of the hiding place

Anne-Marie was held by the Nazis for nine days, suspected of being Jewish, after she was arrested at a Rotterdam train station while hiding at the home of Mr Theelen’s grandfather, Leo Bastiaensen – who was school principal – and his family in Sprundel near the Dutch town of Breda.

Mr. van den Bergh, a prominent Jewish notary, insisted in an interview with Dutch officials after the war that Anne-Marie had been released, simply because she did not have the letter “J” on her his papers.