There was a backlash from Jewish groups, historians and independent scholars who subsequently criticized the book’s findings.
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AMSTERDAM — The Dutch publisher of a discredited investigation into an unsolved case into the betrayal of teenage Jewish journalist Anne Frank said Tuesday it was recalling the book following a critical report on its findings.
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“The Betrayal of Anne Frank: A Cold Case Investigation,” by Canadian bestselling author Rosemary Sullivan, has been widely dismissed by pundits since its release in January.
The book named a Jewish notary, Arnold van den Bergh, as the prime suspect in exposing the family hideout to the Nazis.
There was a backlash from Jewish groups, historians and independent scholars who later criticized the Cold Case team’s conclusion.
Last month, the main umbrella group of National Jewish Communities in Europe urged HarperCollins to withdraw the English edition, saying it had tarnished the memory of Anne Frank and the dignity of Holocaust survivors.
On Tuesday, a shadow report by World War II experts and historians was released in the Netherlands, claiming that the findings of the cold case team, led by a retired US FBI investigator , did not stand up to professional scrutiny.
“It is without exception very weak, sometimes based on a manifestly misreading of the sources, fabricated additions to the sources, and has in no way been the subject of a critical evaluation,” the report concludes.
“There is no serious evidence for this serious accusation,” the experts found.
In response, Dutch publisher Ambo Anthos said: “Based on the findings of this report, we have decided that as of today the book will no longer be available. We will call on booksellers to return their stock.
The English edition of the book was published by HarperCollins. HarperCollins did not respond to a request for comment.
Anne’s diary of life in hiding has been translated into 60 languages.
She and seven other Jews were discovered in August 1944 after evading capture for nearly two years in a secret annex above a canal-side warehouse in Amsterdam. All were deported and Anne died in the Bergen Belsen camp at the age of 15.
(Reporting by Anthony Deutsch; editing by Richard Pullin)
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