Anne Frank died more than 75 years ago in a Nazi concentration camp. She and her family were captured in Holland after living in hiding for several years in a space above a factory. Anne Frank’s story, as recorded in her diary, has been central to educating generations about the Holocaust. But the one qi=uestions that everyone has been asking for decades is, “how were the Franks discovered by the Germans.”
The story, as it has been told, suggested that the Franks and the other people in hiding with them may have been heard in their hiding place one night when someone unexpectedly entered the factory downstairs. The people in hiding there needed to be absolutely quiet in the daytime when the workers filled the factory. But at night they could speak, while still needing to avoid making loud noises.
On the night in question, they heard noises coming from below and were concerned that whoever it was must have heard them in their hiding place in the attic. It has been theorized over the years that the person may have been a thief who later reported what he had heard to avoid arrest himself. But there has never been any definitive proof that this is what happened.
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Today we may finally have an answer to this question of who betrayed the Franks and the other people who were in hiding with them.
After six years of investigation, former FBI agent Vince Pankoke, who was part of the investigation team, thinks that he knows who the culprit was. A Jewish businessman named Van den Bergh who is said to have been a collaborator with the nazis may have been the one who informed on the Franks, possibly in an attempt to save his own life.
Vince Pankoke explained to 60 Minutes that at first he and his team looked into the general theory that maybe the Franks were seen or heard by a random person in the area one night who reported on them to the police.
“So, therefore, we tracked and identified every resident that lived in this block and adjacent streets,” he explained. Using modern AI tech the team found that many known Nazis and informants lived in the vicinity of the Franks’ hiding place. This led Pankoke to comment that, “When you take a look at the threats the question isn’t, you know, what caused the raid. The question might be: how did they last more than two years without being discovered?”
In the end, it was old-fashioned time-consuming detective work that led them to eliminate one possible suspect after another until they got their man.
Arnold van den Bergh, who died in 1950, served as a member of the local Jewish council created by the Germans during their occupation of Holland. He and his family survived the war and were even able to live out in the open. It is believed that he also informed others in order to secure his family’s safety.
However, it must be remembered that there is no hard evidence that proves Arnold van den Bergh’s guilt.