“Not being able to go outside upsets me more than I can say, and I’m terrified our hiding place will be discovered and that we’ll be shot.” — Anne Frank
I hope this newsletter finds you well.
I want to thank those who purchased my books last month. Please note that the.99 cent sale will continue for one more month, then return to full price in March. So, please grab those bargain deals before the sale ends.
Do any of you do two things at once? I do. Sometimes I’m researching a topic or working on a graphic, and I have the TV on for background noise. Last month, my mystery antennae levitated when I heard Anne Frank’s name.
For decades, historians have uncovered many records to reveal the informant’s identity who divulged the location of the Frank’s whereabouts to the Nazis. In December 2021, ex-FBI agents determined Arnold van den Bergh gave up the Franks to save himself.
The investigation found that Van den Bergh had been an associate of Amsterdam’s Jewish Council. The Nazis created the alliance to coerce the Jews to implement their policies. When Amsterdam’s Jewish Council fell out of favor with the Germans, the group disbanded and ushered to concentration camps.
But not Van den Bergh, who lived a regular life in Amsterdam with his family after the Franks’ arrest. According to the study, Van den Bergh had one ace up his sleeve—the Franks. An ex-FBI agent told CBS’ 60 Minutes that “When Van den Bergh lost all the protections that exempted him from the camps, he provided the valuable information to the Nazis.”
Yet, that theory underwent a considerable amount of scrutiny. Some argued that the investigators had only an eighty-five percent probability of Van den Bergh’s guilt. Also, the computer analysis provided no concrete evidence to support the accusation.
Thus, the case remains unresolved. Here’s why: I found another theory from 2016. The Anne Frank Museum reported to the BBC that “The Nazis may have raided the Franks’ address based on reports of ration fraud.” In a diary entry dated March 1944, Anne says that the family had no ration cards because of the arrest of two associates who dispensed illegal ration cards. “B and D have been caught, so we have no coupons…,” she wrote.
Court records also disclosed that the German officers sent to Frank’s business specialized in jewelry, cash, and securities fraud. The police also searched the home for two hours, unheard of for soldiers sent to retrieve Jewish families from their homes.
Therefore, it is possible that the police officers followed the two associates to Otto Frank’s business and drew unwanted attention to their hiding place.
So, what do you think? Does the allegation of Van den Bergh’s betrayal hold any weight? Or was the disclosure of the Frank’s hiding place a coincidence during another investigation? Let me know your thoughts.
I found an online virtual tour of the annex Anne Frank lived in during WWII if you’re interested. You can find the link on my Facebook page, @harpergalebooks. Please visit my page, leave a comment or drop me an email. I’d love to hear from you.
Until next time,