Two weeks after Anne Franks states “was revealed” in a book, the Dutch publisher apologizes.
Was there a Jewish lawyer who advised the Germans where to find Anne Frank and her family? That is the conclusion of the book “Who betrayed Anne Frank?”, Which was published in Norwegian last week.
The book received a lot of attention, especially in the Netherlands. It was not many hours before historians began to question the content and conclusions.
Now the Dutch publisher of the book apologizes and says that more should have been done to ensure the quality of the text. Until further notice, they will not print any more copies. But it is not deducted from bookstores.
The symbol of the Holocaust
For many, Anne Frank is a symbol of the Nazi genocide of the Jews. She was born in Germany. One year after the Nazis took power, the family fled to Amsterdam. When the German occupiers intensified the hunt for the Jews in 1942, the family went underground.
In August 1944, they were revealed. When she was 15 years old in February 1945, she died in Bergen-Belsen. The father survived the concentration camp. After the war he published her diary. It became an international bestseller and has been translated into 70 languages.
Point to the indicator
Therefore, it attracted attention when investigators claimed that they could with 85 percent certainty point out the man who tipped the police about where the Frank family hid.
The Dutch edition went straight into the bestseller lists.
The book is written by Canadian Rosemary Sullivan. It is based on six years of investigative work by a group led by former FBI agent Vince Pankoke.
They pointed to the Dutch lawyer Arnold van den Bergh. He is said to have entered the Frank family to protect his own family. During the first years of the war, he sat on Amsterdam’s “Jewish Council”. It consisted of leading Jews and was a link between the Jewish population and the occupying forces.
When the Jews captured by the Germans were sent east to the concentration camps, van den Bergh and his family settled in Amsterdam.
It did not take long for Dutch historians to react. Rosemary Sullivan is a historian, but has never delved into Dutch history.
The Dutch pointed out that the author believes van den Bergh made lists of where Jews were hidden. But there is no evidence that such lists have existed.
The director of the Anne Frank Foundation, Ronald Leopold, was fast out in questioning the book’s conclusions. He says there are too many pieces missing in the puzzle the investigators claim they have added.
He was also afraid that it could trigger new anti-Semitism when pointing out a Jew as the perpetrator.
Debts to American publishers
In the Netherlands, the book was published by Ambo Anthos. After bidding higher than all other Dutch publishers, American Harper Collins bought the rights to all other countries. Now publisher Tanja Hendriks says she should have been more critical. She apologizes to anyone who feels offended.
Hendriks says that it was American Harper Collins who decided how the book should be.
The book has received much attention in many countries. The Norwegian edition came last week under the title “Who betrayed Anne Frank?”
Einar Røhnebæk is the publishing manager for Harper Collins in Norway. On Monday night, he answered like this when Aftenposten asked what he thinks after the Dutch publisher apologizes:
– We have seen what has happened in the Netherlands, and we make an ongoing assessment.