The Diary of Anne Frank was published 75 years ago and remains among the most widely-read books in the world.
Unfortunately, Anne didn’t have the opportunity to see her words published.
Somehow, she was discovered in her canal-side hideout in Amsterdam before being sent to a Nazi concentration camp, where she died at the age of 15 in 1945.
Her dad published her diary two years later, with thanks to one of the family’s helpers, Miep Gies, who kept it safe during that time.
Anne’s account of being a teenager during one of history’s cruellest times gave a voice to the millions of victims of the Nazi genocide.
But one question has always remained: who alerted the Nazi search team to her and her family’s hiding place back in 1944?
Retired US FBI agent Vincent Pankoke and about 20 historians, criminologists, and data specialists all worked tirelessly with modern crime-solving techniques and technology, reported Business Day.
Finally, they found a name that made sense.
It looks to have been the little-known Jewish notary Arnold van den Bergh:
More than 75 years after Nazis stormed the annex in Amsterdam, researchers concluded it was “very likely” Van den Bergh gave the Frank family up to save his own family, research team member Pieter van Twisk [said].
The investigation, which was never meant to lead to prosecution, just clarity, was extensive and time-consuming:
Using Big Data research techniques, a master database was compiled with lists of Nazi collaborators, informants, historic documents, police records and prior research to uncover new leads.
Dozens of scenarios and locations of suspects were visualised on a map to identify a betrayer, based on knowledge of the hiding place, motive and opportunity.
Names have been dropped before, but never quite like this, using this kind of technology.
Records from the Dutch national archive indicated that a member of the Jewish Council, a body set up by the Nazis in Amsterdam, had been giving the Nazis names and addresses in order to prevent being shipped to a concentration camp.
Van den Bergh was a member of the council and there are no records of members of his immediate family having died in these camps.
Pankoke says that while the evidence is circumstantial it is also “pretty convincing”.
You can read more about all the research and findings by the Canadian author Rosemary Sullivan, who is releasing her book The Betrayal of Anne Frank tomorrow.
It is perhaps safe to say that this marks the end of one of the biggest unsolved mysteries in the Netherlands and of World War II.
[imagesource: Supplied / News24] It is truly amazing that nobody was hurt by this braze...
[imagesource: Malachite Fynbos Gin] There was a time when it was considered acceptable ...
[imagesource: Phill Magakoe / AFP] Social media has provided everybody with a platform ...
[imagesource: Getty Images] Your skin has its very own microbiome. Being home to tri...
[imagesource: Twitter / BBC] By now, you've likely seen or at least heard about the vid...