Anne Frank may have been found by chance, not betrayed

Updated: Dec 18, 2016, 13:09 IST | Agencies

A new study has found that there is no conclusive evidence that Anne Frank and her family were betrayed to German occupiers during the World War II, leading to their arrest and deportation

A portrait of Anne Frank taken in 1942; (right) Anne Frank’s diary is displayed at the Netherlands pavilion of the XXIX International Book Fair in Bogota, Colombia. Pic/AFP
A portrait of Anne Frank taken in 1942; (right) Anne Frank’s diary is displayed at the Netherlands pavilion of the XXIX International Book Fair in Bogota, Colombia. Pic/AFP

Amsterdam: A new study has found that there is no conclusive evidence that Anne Frank and her family were betrayed to German occupiers during the World War II, leading to their arrest and deportation.

One possible theory is that the August 4, 1944 raid that led to Anne's arrest could've been part of an investigation into illegal labour or falsified ration coupons at the canal-side house, where she and other Jews hid for over two years.

Anne kept a diary during her time in hiding in the Netherlands, which was published after the war and turned her into a globally recognised symbol of Holocaust victims.

She died in the Bergen-Belsen Nazi concentration camp, in Germany, at the age of 15, shortly before it was liberated by Allied Forces.

The new research, by the Anne Frank House museum in Amsterdam, reveals that there were two men who worked in the building where the teenager's family was hiding on Amsterdam's Prinsengracht canal and dealt in illegal ration cards.

They were arrested earlier in 1944, a fact mentioned in Anne's diary.

Such arrests were reported to an investigation division based in The Hague.

The study says: "During their day-to-day activities, investigators from this department often came across Jews in hiding by chance."

Another possibility was that the raid was part of an investigation into people being allowed to work to prevent them being called up as forced labour and sent to Germany.

"A company where people were working illegally and two sales representatives were arrested for dealing in ration coupons obviously ran the risk of attracting the attention of the authorities," the study says.

However, it adds: "The possibility of betrayal has of course not been entirely ruled out by this, nor has any relationship between the ration coupon fraud and the arrest been proven."

Ronald Leopold, the executive director of the Anne Frank House museum, said that the new research "illustrates that other scenarios should also be considered."

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