Publisher ‘The betrayal of Anne Frank’ apologizes and postpones second printing after criticism of research



Photos of Anne Frank in the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam.Image REUTERS

The book, in which a (police) investigation team concludes that Anne Frank was probably betrayed by a Jewish notary, has been under fire from historians since its publication – two weeks ago. The work is the report of years of investigation by a cold case team including experts from the Dutch police, archivists and forensic experts.

Arnold van den Bergh

The investigation points in the direction of one scenario: civil-law notary Arnold van den Bergh is said to have passed on the address of Anne Frank and the other people in hiding to the Nazis in exchange for protection. As a member of the Jewish Council, he may have had access to a list of hiding places.

After publication, historians were heavily criticized. Lists with hiding addresses would not have existed and the notary would also have been in hiding, which does not make his betrayal plausible.

Ambo Anthos now writes that ‘a more critical attitude’ would have been possible. The publisher bought the rights from the international publisher Harper Collins and had no influence on the content. ‘As a publisher it is not possible to assess all the details of a team of researchers and author’s arguments for correctness or substantiation’, Hendriks writes. She now wants to wait for the answers from the research team to the questions that have arisen. She apologizes to anyone who feels offended by the book.

very surprised

Pieter van Twisk, head of research of the team, reacts very surprised to the email from the publisher. He says that he visited Ambo Anthos last Thursday and gave a detailed explanation of all criticisms. ‘We fully support our investigation, we can account for everything. We stick to our story. Is it the truth? We don’t know for sure, but it is a very plausible narrative.’

The publisher was not critical after that conversation and did not show a lack of confidence, he says. “Where this is suddenly coming from is a mystery to me.”

The publisher declined to respond to the email sent Monday morning. The book came in at number four this week in the Bestseller top-60.