Anne Frank: what to make of new betrayal theory?

A research team consisting of criminologists, an FBI investigator and other researchers on Monday published a book with its findings on who told the Gestapo about the hiding place of Anne Frank and seven other people in Amsterdam in 1944. According to the findings, it was a Jewish notary who was trying to protect himself and his family from deportation. Historians warn against jumping to conclusions and criticise the way the findings were revealed.

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NRC Handelsblad (NL) /

Not a case for a true crime story

NRC Handelsblad agrees with critics:

“No overwhelming evidence was found against the suspect, who was nevertheless named. He can no longer defend himself, but will now be considered the bad guy for all time. ... Clearly, if we see this as a true crime story, the appropriate perpetrator has now been found. The orchestration of the revelation served this purpose. A strict retention period did not allow the findings to be reviewed by experts beforehand. ... The result was a 'trial by media' about which the necessary critical comments could only be collected afterwards.”

Danas (RS) /

Wrong focus on the perpetrator

Whether Anne Frank was betrayed by a Jew is ultimately irrelevant, says Danas:

“Does the fact that she was probably betrayed by a fellow Jew provide a certain sense of schadenfreude or relief? Does this make it easier? ... Does it have anything to do with disgusting anti-Semitic conspiracy theories? ... The main thing is (do we even need to stress this?) that an innocent fifteen-year-old girl was murdered. And as long as we fail to focus on that rather than the 'discovery' that a fellow citizen contributed to her death, we are the ones who are betraying her again.”