THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The publisher of a controversial new work on Anne Frank is releasing the book after a group of Dutch historians published an in-depth critique of its “most likely scenario” of who has betrayed the Jewish teenage columnist and his family in German-occupied Amsterdam during World War II.
Meanwhile, the US publisher of “The Betrayal of Anne Frank: A Cold Case Investigation” announced Wednesday that it will continue to sell the book.
The Cold Case team’s research, published earlier this year in a book by Canadian academic and author Rosemary Sullivan, immediately drew criticism in the Netherlands.
In a 69-page written “rebuttal”, six historians and scholars describe the cold case team’s findings as “a tottering house of cards”. The book’s Dutch publisher, Ambo Anthos, repeated his earlier apology and announced on Tuesday evening that he was retiring ‘The Betrayal of Anne Frank’.
The book alleged that the person who revealed the location of the Frank family annex’s secret hideout was likely a prominent Jewish notary, Arnold van den Bergh, who revealed the location in a building by the canal. ‘Amsterdam to the German occupiers to save his own family. deportation and death in Nazi concentration camps.
Dutch historians have reviewed the team’s work and concluded that “the accusation does not hold water”.
Historians said the book “presents a distinct pattern in which assumptions are made by the CCT (Cold Case Team), believed to be true a moment later, and then used as building blocks for the next stage of the train of logic. This makes the whole book a flimsy house of cards, because if a single step proves wrong, the cards above also crumble.
In response, cold case team leader Pieter van Twisk told Dutch broadcaster NOS that the historians’ work was “very detailed and extremely solid” and said it “gives us a number of things to think about, but right now I don’t see that Van den Bergh can be permanently removed as a prime suspect.
Since the book’s publication in January, the team has posted detailed responses to criticism of its work on its website.
Dutch filmmaker Thijs Bayens, who came up with the idea for the cold case team, conceded in January that the team was not 100% certain about Van den Bergh.
“There is no absolute proof because the betrayal is circumstantial,” Bayens told The Associated Press at the time.
Not all publishers abandoned the book. In the US, HarperCollins Publishers issued a statement saying it stands by “The Betrayal of Anne Frank”, adding that “While we acknowledge there has been criticism of the findings, the investigation has been conducted with respect and the utmost care for an extremely sensitive subject.”
The Frank family and four other Jews hid in the annex, which was accessed by a secret staircase hidden behind a bookcase, from July 1942 until their discovery in August 1944 and their deportation to concentration camps.
Anne and her sister died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Anne was 15 years old. Only Anne’s father, Otto Frank, survived the Holocaust. He published his diary after World War II and it quickly became an enduring symbol of loss and resilience, read by millions around the world.
Ronald Leopold, the director of the Anne Frank House museum based in the building where the Frank family hid, said in January that there were “many missing pieces of the puzzle. And these pieces need to be studied further in order to see how we can value this new theory.
On Wednesday, Leopold said the question marks the museum had in January over the cold case team’s findings “are supported by cross-examination by eminent historians. You can’t trust anyone.” one to history as the traitor of Anne Frank if you don’t have conclusive proof. We hope this counter-investigation clears Van den Bergh’s name of all blame, as well as that of his loved ones, including his little girl -daughter Mirjam of Gorter.
AP National Writer Hillel Italy contributed to this story from New York.