Thursday, March 24, 2022

Any excuse to slander Jews

Dutch publisher pulls disputed Anne Frank book

Ambo Anthos is withdrawing "The Betrayal of Anne Frank: A Cold Case Investigation" after six Dutch experts complained the book was based on hypotheses and an incorrect interpretation of sources.Amsterdam-based publishing house Ambo Anthos announced on Tuesday that it was pulling the Dutch edition of the book  "The Betrayal of Anne Frank: A Cold Case Investigation" from the market, following a discussion panel by six historians, who said the team's findings were "sometimes based on an evidently erroneous reading of the sources, fabricated additions to sources, and has not in any way been subjected to a critical assessment."

"A number of prominent experts presented a very critical report on the investigation that is described in the book," said Ambo Anthos in a statement announcing the book's withdrawal. "Based on the conclusions of this report, we have decided that effective immediately, the book will no longer be available.

"We will call upon bookstores to return their stock. We would once again like to offer our sincere apologies to everyone who has been offended by the contents of this book," the statement added.

'Shaky house of cards'

"The Betrayal of Anne Frank: A Cold Case Investigation" was written by Canadian academic Rosemary Sullivan and based on an inquiry conducted by FBI detective Vince Pankoke.

It claims that the person who revealed the location of Anne Frank's family's secret hiding place in Amsterdam was most likely a Jewish notary called Arnold van den Bergh, who died in 1950 of throat cancer. The book alleges that the notary revealed the Frank family's location to German occupiers to save his own family from deportation to a Nazi concentration camp.

The Diary of Anne Frank

The Diary of Anne Frank has been translated into many languages

A team of six Dutch academics, Bart van der Boom, Petra van den Boomgard, Aaldrik Hermans, Raymund Schütz, Laurien Vastenhout and Bart Wallet, however, concluded that there was "not any serious evidence for this grave accusation." Their criticism of the investigation is detailed in a 68-page report, titled "The Betrayal of Anne Frank: A Refutation." 

"Why would someone leave the relative safety of a hiding place to betray others when there was no actual motive for doing so because he, his children and his wife were already all in hiding? To sum up: there is no motive," states the report, as quoted by Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

The book "displays a distinct pattern in which assumptions are made by the CCT (Cold Case Team), held to be true a moment later, and then used as a building block for the next step in the train of logic. This makes the entire book a shaky house of cards because if any single step turns out to be wrong, the cards above also collapse,'' the report added.

Following the report's release on Tuesday, Van den Bergh's granddaughter, Mirjam de Gorter, thanked the experts. She had previously objected to the way the cold case team used her interview in "The Betrayal of Anne Frank: A Cold case Investigation." 

"This case is not about me but the whole context of the story in which, out of the blue, my grandfather Arnold van den Bergh has been portrayed worldwide as a Jewish scapegoat, moreover Anne Frank's international prominence as a symbol of the Holocaust is exploited in a particularly dishonest way," she told the Dutchnews website.

De Gorter has also requested Harper Collins to remove the book from international circulation.

The cold case team's leader, Peter van Twisk, refuted the accusation. He told Dutch broadcaster NOS that the team's work was "very detailed and extremely solid" and that the criticism provided many things to think about, but that he didn't see that Van den Bergh could be definitely removed as a suspect.

Mired in criticism

"The Betrayal of Anne Frank: A Cold Case Investigation" is no stranger to controversy and has been the subject of debate since its publication in January.

Dutch filmmaker Thijs Bayens, who had the idea of putting a cold case team together, said at the time that the team was not 100% certain about Van den Bergh. "There is no smoking gun because betrayal is circumstantial," he told the Associated Press.

Ronald Leopold, director of the Anne Frank House museum, also called the cold case team's conclusion "an interesting theory" but added that there were many pieces of the puzzle missing and they needed to be investigated further to validate the theory.

The head of the Central Jewish Board of the Netherlands had also described the findings as "extremely speculative and sensationalist" when the book was published.

Who betrayed Anne Frank?

To date, there have been many theories trying to explain a Nazi raid in August 1944 that uncovered the Franks' secret hiding place in an annex to an Amsterdam canal-side house. The family hid there for two years before they were deported to concentration camps.

Anne and her sister Margot were sent to Bergen Belsen, where Anne died when she was only 15. Only her father, Otto Frank, survived the Holocaust. He published her diary after WWII.

Edited by: Elizabeth Grenier

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