An international investigation led by former FBI agent, Vincent Panoke, points to the possible informer of the hiding place where the teenage author of “The Diary of Anne Frank” was hiding. The diary recounts the rawness of the Nazi persecution of Jews during World War II.
A Jewish notary in Amsterdam, Arnold van den Bergh, allegedly revealed the location of the hiding place of Anne, her sister, her parents, and four other Jews, who were taken to a concentration camp on Aug. 4, 1944, Fox News reported on Jan. 17.
Van den Bergh’s motivation may have been to save his own family after negotiating with the Nazis, as is revealed in the book “The Betrayal of Anne Frank A Cold Case Investigation,” written by Canadian Rosemary Sullivan.
Sullivan condenses in her work the investigation led by Panoke, who for five years carefully studied the evidence applying modern techniques and technology until she arrived at the identification of the lawyer Van den Bergh.
“We have investigated over 30 suspects in 20 different scenarios, leaving one scenario we like to refer to as the most likely scenario,” filmmaker Thijs Bayens told the Associated Press.
The possible “evidence” is a copy of an anonymous note given to Otto Frank, the sole surviving member of the family, and that investigators located among the files of a police officer. The note containing the address found its way into the hands of the Gestapo. Van den Bergh’s name appeared on the note, and he died in 1980 at the age of 91.
The team studied the documents held at the Anne Frank House museum using Artificial Intelligence. The organization’s executive director, Ronald Leopold, weighed in by stating, “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.”
He added: “The cold case team’s investigation has generated important new information and a fascinating hypothesis that merit further research.”
Only Anne’s father survived after being taken to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Lower Saxony, Germany. At the same time, Anne, 15, and her sister died there along with millions of other Holocaust victims.
Anne wrote her moving work while in hiding, and her father had it published after the war. The book gave insight into the suffering of millions of victims of the Nazi genocide. It has been translated into dozens of languages and read by millions of people.
According to Gena Turgel, a Holocaust survivor who cared for Anne Frank when they were both held in the concentration camp, Anne Frank was a teenager dying of typhoid.
In an interview, she said, “She was delirious, terrible, burning up. I gave her cold water to wash her down,” Turgel said.
And she added: “We did not know she was special, but she was a lovely girl. I can still see her lying there with her face, which was so red as she had a breakout. And then she died.”
After World War II, Turgel married a British soldier who liberated that concentration camp. She died at the age of 95 in 2018.