A new investigation led by a former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent has identified a prime suspect who may have betrayed Anne Frank and her family to the Nazis.
According to a six-year investigation led by FBI Detective Vince Pankoke, Jewish notary Arnold van den Bergh probably “gave up” Franks’ hiding place to the Nazis to save his own family.
The team found a typewritten copy of an anonymous note sent to Anne’s father Otto naming van den Bergh as the betrayer, but it did not identify Otto.
“Your address was betrayed,” the note said, according to Canadian author Rosemary Sullivan, who wrote “The Betrayal of Anne Frank,” a book based on the investigation and will be published on Jan. 18.
The investigators found that van den Bergh and his daughter were never deported to the Nazi camps and instead were living in Amsterdam.
The investigators also learned that van de Bergh was the founding member of the Jewish Council, an administrative body forced to implement Nazi police in Jewish areas but was disbanded in 1943.
“When van den Bergh lost all his series of protections exempting him from having to go to the camps, he had to provide something valuable to the Nazis that he’s had contact with to let him and his wife at that time stay safe,” Pankoke told CBS’ “60 Minutes” show.
Pankoke further said that Otto might have never publicized the note in fears that a betrayal by a Jewish person may further stoke anti-Semitism.
The Anne Frank House museum said in a statement that it was “impressed” by the investigation.
“The cold case team’s investigation has generated important new information and a fascinating hypothesis that merit further research,” Anne Frank House Executive Director Ronald Leopold said.
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