DEN HAAG, The Netherlands (AP) – A group of Dutch historians has published an in-depth critique of the work and the conclusion of a cold case team that said it had put together the “most likely scenario” for who betrayed the Jewish teenage daydreamer Anne Frank and her family in German-occupied Amsterdam during World War II.
The Cold Case team’s research, published earlier this year in the book “The Betrayal of Anne Frank: A Cold Case Investigation,” by Canadian academic and author Rosemary Sullivan, immediately drew criticism in the Netherlands.
Now, in a 69-page written “refutation,” six historians and academics describe the Cold Case team’s findings as “a shaky house of cards.” The book’s Dutch publisher reiterated an earlier apology and announced Tuesday night that it would pull the book out of stores.
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The book said that the person who revealed the location of the Frank family’s secret annexe hide in a building on the canal in Amsterdam was probably a prominent Jewish notary, Arnold van den Bergh, who revealed the location to the German occupiers of the Netherlands for to save his. own family from deportation and death in Nazi concentration camps.
The Dutch historians reviewed the team’s work and concluded that “the indictment does not hold water.”
Historians said the book “shows a clear pattern in which assumptions are made by the CCT (Cold Case Team), held to be true a moment later and then used as a building block for the next step in the train of logic. This makes the whole book a shaky house of cards, because if a single step turns out to be wrong, the cards above also collapse. “
In response, Cold Case team leader Pieter van Twisk told Dutch television station NOS that the historians’ work was “very detailed and extremely solid” and said it “gives us a number of things to think about, but for now “I do not see that Van den Bergh can definitely be removed as the main suspect.”
Since the book’s release in January, the team has published detailed responses to criticism of its work on its website.
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Dutch filmmaker Thijs Bayens, who had the idea to put together the cold case team, admitted in January that the team did not have 100% security for Van den Bergh.
“There’s no smoking gun because treason is cumbersome,” Bayens told the Associated Press at the time.
The Frank family and four other Jews hid in the annex, which was reached by a secret staircase hidden behind a bookshelf, from July 1942 until they were discovered in August 1944 and deported to concentration camps.
Anne and her sister died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Anne was 15. Only Anne’s father, Otto Frank, survived the Holocaust. He published her diary after World War II, and it quickly became a lasting symbol of hope and resilience, read by millions around the world.
The director of the Anne Frank House Museum, which is based in the building where the Frank family hid, said in January that there were “many missing pieces in the puzzle. And these pieces need to be examined further to see how we can value this new theory.”
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On Wednesday, director Ronald Leopold said that questions the museum had in January about the cold case team’s conclusions “are supported by counter-examination by leading historians. Do not leave anyone to the story as Anne Frank’s traitor if you do not. .