One of World War Two’s longest running mysteries is one step closer to being solved after a six year cold case investigation identified a possible suspect responsible for the betrayal of Anne Frank and her family.
The investigative team found the “most likely scenario” was that Jewish notary Arnold van den Bergh revealed the hiding place of the Franks family, leading to Anne and seven other Jews being captured by Nazis on August 4, 1944.
Investigators theorised Van den Bergh may have revealed the Franks’ hiding place in Amsterdam to Nazis in an effort to save his own family.
Retired FBI agent Vince Pankoke who was brought in to help investigate the decades-old case, after two previous police probes failed to make progress, stressed to 60 Minutes the evidence they found is “not a smoking gun, but it feels like a warm gun with the evidence of the bullet sitting nearby”.
“We know from history that the Jewish Council was dissolved in late September of 1943 and they were sent to the camps. We figured, well, if Arnold van den Bergh is in a camp somewhere, he certainly can’t be privy to information that would lead to the compromise of the annex,” he said.
“Pieter was able to locate, in the national archive, records that indicated that in fact somebody from the Jewish Council, of which Arnold Van Den Bergh was a member, was turning over lists of addresses where Jews were in hiding.
“In his role as being a founding member of the Jewish Council, he would have had privy to addresses where Jews were hiding. 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.
“There’s no evidence to indicate that he knew who was hiding at any of these addresses. They were just addresses that were provided that where Jews were known to have been in hiding.”
The #coldcase team’s investigation into the arrest of #AnneFrank has generated important new information and a fascinating hypothesis that merit further research. Follow the link for our response and link to @CBSNews 60 Minutes and more: https://t.co/vJJiphQ2QO pic.twitter.com/4cM5gwKjMc
— Anne Frank House (@annefrankhouse) January 17, 2022
Executive director of the Anne Frank House, Ronald Leopold, welcomed the investigation and its findings.
“At the Anne Frank House we aim to tell the life story of Anne Frank as fully as possible, so it’s important to also examine the arrest of Anne Frank and the seven other people in the Secret Annex in as much detail as possible. The cold case team’s investigation has generated important new information and a fascinating hypothesis that merit further research,” he said.