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The man who betrayed Anne Frank to the Nazis to save his own family is finally revealed

IT is one of the saddest and most enduring cold cases of the 20th century – who told the Nazis where Anne Frank was hiding?

But now, the 77-year-old mystery has been solved by a team of investigators, claiming a new book about the teenage wartime bar whose family was betrayed to the Gestapo.

Anne Frank, pictured, betrayed to the Nazis

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Anne Frank, pictured, betrayed to the NazisCredit: Getty

Surprisingly, the culprit was not a power-hungry Nazi but a tragedy, like Franks, a Jewish victim of the regime who was simply trying to save his family.

Arnold van den Bergh was a notary, or legal secretary, who is now believed to have given the SS the address of the Franks’ Amsterdam hideout, Prinsengracht-263.

Rosemary Sullivan, author of Anne Frank’s Betrayal, said: “Arnold van den Bergh is a man who has been put in the devil’s dilemma by circumstances for which he is not to blame, and under pressure he may not have fully understood the consequences of his actions. mine.

“He did not disclose information for evil purposes or to enrich himself, as many others have done. Like Otto Frank, his goal is simple – save his family.

“The fact that he succeeded while Otto failed is a terrible fact of history.”

With their home city of Amsterdam under Nazi rule, 13-year-old Anne, her parents Otto and Edith, and sister Margot went into hiding in 1942.

Most read in The Irish Sun

Along with family friends, van Pels and dentist Fritz Pfeffer, for two years they hid in a closed room behind Otto’s spice business.

Their location is known only by the employees of Otto, Victor Kugler, Johannes Kleiman, Miep Gies and Bep Voskuijl, who risked their lives bringing them food.

In 1944, German police stormed the offices and Franks, van Pels and Pfeffer were sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland.

Anne, Margot and Edith were sent to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, where they signed a contract typhoid disease and died in 1945.

Otto, the family’s sole survivor, returns to Amsterdam after the war and publishes Anne’s heartbreaking diary of their time in hiding in 1947.

During the 1940s and 1960s, there were two failed investigations into who betrayed the Franks, then in 2016 a team of 22 people led by Vincent Pankoke, a former FBI cold case specialist, launched start another investigation.

The team studied reports from 29 repositories in the Netherlands and Allied countries, and used Microsoft’s AI program to analyze them.

OTHER NOTES

Later, when Vincent went through a 1963 report on Otto Frank, he found a copy of an anonymous letter sent to Otto in 1945 that claimed he knew who had given them. to enter.

It read: “Your hiding place in Amsterdam at the time was reported to Jüdische Auswanderung [Jewish Emigration] in Amsterdam, the Euterpestraat of A van den Bergh, a resident at the time in Vondelpark, O Nassaulaan.

“At JA is a complete list of addresses he sent to.”

Arnold van den Bergh served as one of seven Jewish notaries in Amsterdam before the war. His company was a success, with Arnold presiding over high-value purchases and living in a lavish mansion in the city.

He and his wife Auguste have twin daughters, Emma and Esther, and a young daughter, Anne Marie – the same age as Anne Frank.

Author Rosemary continued: “He seemed like a quiet but confident man.

“His wife loves to entertain guests at their home, and he has a passion for fine paintings from the 17th and 18th centuries, a luxury his income can afford.”

Arnold van den Bergh was a notary, or legal secretary, who is now believed to have given the SS the address of the Franks' Amsterdam hideout, Prinsengracht-263

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Arnold van den Bergh was a notary, or legal secretary, who is now believed to have given the SS the address of the Franks’ Amsterdam hideout, Prinsengracht-263Credit: CBS

As the Nazis embarked on the mass murder of Jews across Europe, van den Bergh decided to do whatever it took to keep his family safe.

In 1941, a year after the German invasion of Amsterdam, he became a founding member of the Jewish Council.

The council – deposed after the war – had the dire task of deciding which Jews to deport and holding weekly meetings with the SS intelligence agency, SD.

In return, van den Bergh and his family were among 1,500 Dutch Jews who received a “spirit,” or immunity from deportation.

But when the council was disbanded in 1943, its members were sent to concentration camps – meaning van de Bergh was no longer safe.

For the cold case group, time was not significant. Why did van den Bergh give the Franks address in 1944 and not 1943, when his family’s lives were in greatest danger?

STRONG

Examining the records, the team found no evidence that van den Bergh or his young family had ever been imprisoned in concentration camps.

Instead, van den Bergh’s next move was to apply for Calmeyer status – an SS classification meaning non-Jewish – on the basis that one of his grandparents was pagan.

In September 1943, his request was granted, and the whole family had the letter J – meaning Jüdisch, or Hebrew – on their identification.

That should have kept them safe – if not for an argument with the wrong person. Around this time, van den Bergh’s business was shut down and entrusted to an Ayranian notary, JWA Schepers.

Perhaps angered by this humiliation, van den Bergh took steps to sabotage the business internally so that by the time Schepers took over, it could no longer function.

This turned out to be a serious mistake. Schepers was so enraged that he successfully lobbied the SS to reverse van den Bergh’s decision on Calmeyer status.

Anne Frank rose to fame after publishing in 1947 Diary of a Young Girl, in which she chronicled her life in hiding from 1942 to 1944.

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Anne Frank rose to fame after publishing in 1947 Diary of a Young Girl, in which she chronicled her life in hiding from 1942 to 1944.Credit: Getty

Van den Bergh’s Aryan identity was erased and he fled Amsterdam when a bounty was placed on his head.

“The bizarre absurdity of those bureaucratic musical chairs, when a man’s life and the life of his family are at stake, is a brutal example of a method of killing,” said Rosemary. people with small Nazi cuts”.

The Dutch Resistance found a home for Van den Bergh’s twins in Scharwoude and raised 13-year-old Anne Marie in Amsterdam.

But Anne Marie, whose stepdaughter Esther Kizio – a pseudonym – spoke to the cold case team, fled Amsterdam after being starved, forced to work and sexually assaulted.

She was arrested right in Rotterdam by the Nazis. But the van den Bergh family has one more card to play.

During her interrogation, Anne Marie mentioned her father’s German client, Alois Miedl, and was released immediately.

FRIENDS WITH PREMIUM NAZIS

Miedl was a Catholic art collector who, despite his Jewish wife, was a good friend of high-ranking Nazis and secretly worked for German military intelligence.

After Jewish collectors were forced to sell their work during the Nazi persecution, Miedl arranged the sale of some works to Hitler’s second-in-command, Hermann Goring.

The work formerly belonged to Jewish collector Jacques Goudstikker. And the notary involved in the sale was none other than Arnold van den Bergh. He must have realized that Miedl could be a powerful ally.

So when Miedl, who secretly sympathized with the Jews, suggested van den Bergh adopt Goudstikker’s mother, Emilie, for the duration of the war, he agreed.

Now, in Miedl’s fine books, van den Bergh hopes his ties to the Nazi party will keep his family safe in hiding.

But in 1944, when the Germans began to lose the battle, Miedl fled to fascist Spain. It seems that at this stage van den Bergh has run out of options.

Arnold van den Bergh, circled, during the Amsterdam Jewish Council meeting

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Arnold van den Bergh, circled, during the Amsterdam Jewish Council meetingCredit: Amsterdam’s Jewish Cultural Quarter

In a last-ditch effort to save himself and his family, he delivered a list of Jewish safe houses he would have as a member of the Jewish Council.

When his niece Esther found out about this, she struggled to come to terms with the news.

Rosemary said: “If her grandfather really gave up Prinsengracht’s 263 address, it’s probably just an address on the imposter list – he doesn’t know who lives there.

“If indeed he did it, she said in the end, she knew it could have been for only one reason – because he was forced to, because he had to save his family’s lives. ”

In 1948, the Jewish Honor Court in Amsterdam – a court set up to deal with suspected Nazi collaborators of being Jewish – found van den Bergh guilty in absentia in assisting the Nazis. support againstJewish measure.

Not long after, he was diagnosed with throat cancer and died in London in 1950. But one question remained – why did Otto Frank keep the van den Bergh name to himself?

HAVE BEEN TREATED SAFETY HOUSES

At the time of van den Bergh’s trial, Otto told Dutch newspaper Het Parool: “We have been betrayed by the Jews.”

And years later, Miep Gies let a student at the University of Michigan learn that the traitor had died “before 1960”. But Otto kept the name until his death at the age of 91 in 1980.

Rosemary writes: “Perhaps Otto’s lack of interest in exposing his traitor may have in part led to van den Bergh’s death.

“What good is it to pursue a dead man? Otto always said that he didn’t want to harm the man’s children.

“He might also conclude that van den Bergh would make a convenient scapegoat for haters of the Jews.”

  • The Betrayal Of Anne Frank, by Rosemary Sullivan, is published today by William Collins, a publisher of Harper-Collins UK, in hardcover, ebook and audio format.
The house where the Anne Frank family hid for two years

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The house where the Anne Frank family hid for two yearsCredit: AFP
Anonymous letter sent to Otto Frank accusing van den Bergh

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Anonymous letter sent to Otto Frank accusing van den BerghCredits: 60 Minutes / CBS
Oscar-winning Helen Mirren tells the story of Anne Frank’s life through the pages of her world-famous diary in ‘Anne Frank: Parallel Stories’

https://www.thesun.ie/news/8222143/man-betrayed-anne-frank-nazis-finally-revealed/ The man who betrayed Anne Frank to the Nazis to save his own family is finally revealed

Fry Electronics Team

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