Apology for a Dutch book that claimed to identify the traitor of Anne Frank | Holocaust

A Dutch publisher has apologized for a book that made headlines around the world by identifying a Jewish notary as the prime suspect in Anne Frank’s betrayal to the Nazis.

Ambo Anthos said he has decided to hold further printings of The Betrayal of Anne Frank until there is more work on the book’s central claims.

In a statement, the publishing house said it now believes it has been carried away by the “momentum” surrounding the publication of the book and should have taken a more “critical” stance.

HarperCollins, the American publisher who bought the English rights to the book, has, according to Ambo Anthos, “determined the [book’s] content”. HarperCollins has been contacted for comment.

The Betrayal of Anne Frank, by Canadian author Rosemary Sullivan, is based on six years of research assembled by a team led by retired FBI detective Vince Pankoke.

The book was released Jan. 18 to some fanfare, including a CBS 60 Minutes program.

But within 24 hours of publication, historians and researchers had cast doubt on the central theory that Arnold van den Bergh, who died of throat cancer in 1950, had likely led police to the hideout of the Frank family above a canalside warehouse in the Jordaan Quarter of Amsterdam on August 4, 1944.

Critics have specifically questioned the evidence behind the claim that as a member of the Jewish Council of Amsterdam, an administrative body that German authorities forced Jews to establish, van den Bergh likely had access to places where the Jews were hiding.

Pieter van Twisk, who was part of the team of investigators behind the book, said the claims made in the book were duly cautioned and he was puzzled by the publisher’s statement.

The book, the result of a six-year investigation, suggests that van den Bergh, who acted as a notary in the forced sale of works of art to prominent Nazis such as Hermann Göring, had been coerced by risks to his own life from using hideout addresses as a form of life insurance for his family. Neither he nor his daughter were deported to Nazi camps.

Following the family’s arrest, Anne was sent to the Westerbork transit camp, then to the Auschwitz concentration camp before finally ending up in Bergen-Belsen, where she died in February 1945 at the age of 15. , possibly typhus. His published diary covers the period in hiding between 1942 and his last entry on August 1, 1944.