“The unveiling” of Anne Frank is painful

"The unveiling" of Anne Frank is painful

At the end of 60 minutesIf the broadcast is about “The Betrayal of Anne Frank” he should confess something to former FBI agent Vince Bangkok. After six years of investigation, the so-called cold-case team he leads has named Jewish notary Arnold van den Berg as the “highly likely” traitor. But, Bangkok asserts when asked, it will be difficult to bring their testimony in a lawsuit. “No, there is still some reasonable doubt. […] It is a case based on circumstantial evidence.”

The current affairs program respected by the United States 60 minutes One of the media with which the Pankoke investigation team secretly shared “the first” was in advance. While television is broadcast on the evening of Sunday, January 16, and simultaneous publications in three Dutch daily newspapers between them Norwegian Refugee CouncilThe researchers began their international propaganda offensive. Not finding definitive proof of water is a nuance that was initially lost in the United States in the ensuing media storm.

Some newspapers take a hit. Van den Berg has been called a “suspect” and “case may have been resolved”. But some prominent media outlets immediately referred to him as the “potential culprit” (The Wall Street Journal) or the “sudden prime suspect” (CNN). the sun guard From Florida more succinctly: “Researchers conclude that a Jew betrayed the Anne Frank family.”

In the days after the first revelation, this picture tends to be tilted. New York times An article by Amsterdam-based freelance collaborator Nina Segal is published the day after the first book editor’s review. She gave the floor to several Dutch historians who expressed serious reservations about the “evidence” against van den Berg. A handful of other media later also with more skeptical pieces.

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Read also: Was Anne Frank’s betrayal really resolved?

For Elise Tack, the damage has already been done, she says over the phone. The artist has lived in New York and her American friends for a quarter of a century, “although almost all of them belong to the cultural sector, they believe in everything that is advertised in the media.”

This is very painful for Tack personally: her maternal grandfather was a brother of Arnold van den Berg. She knows the “Jewish notary” who allegedly betrayed Anne Frank as “Uncle Noel”. Her uncle was a “very nice guy”, who knows Tak (64 years old) from family stories. “He saved my mother and my aunts’ lives” by helping them hide. Her mother lost almost her entire family to the Holocaust: her father (brother of Arnold van den Berg), mother, brother, and 84-year-old grandmother.

The head of the Switzerland-based Anne Frank Trust warned that designating a Jew as a traitor to members of the secret annex in hiding could affect the Jewish community. President John D. Opinion.

Fear of anti-Semitism

Tack shares that fear of anti-Semitism. “Let’s face it: If I can translate the press report ‘The Jewish Notary Betrays Anne Frank’, it would in fact say: ‘The (wealthy) Jew is guilty of the Holocaust,’ and the murdered young girl symbolizes it.”

Anne Frank is being The Holocaust for many Americans. Before the pandemic, there were plenty of American English queuing outside Anne Frank’s home at Prinsengracht in Amsterdam. Of the 8.7 million visitors registered on the museum’s website in 2020, more than a quarter (2.3 million) came from the United States, according to the latest annual report. And although Frank’s life story had a sad, un-American ending, it… Diary of a little girl In the United States, in particular, it has featured prominently in the reading lists of schoolchildren for decades.

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“Anne Frank is, of course, Hollywood,” Tack says. “Indeed, it’s too bad to let someone symbolize a complete genocide.” Note is also under review New York times On Anne Frank’s betrayal “Too often it has been idealized as a symbol of the human spirit that cannot be tamed and is not portrayed as a victim of genocide deserving justice.”

The American propaganda machine around Anne Frank will not stop working for the time being. A documentary is being made about the investigation into the cold case. And next month, a Netflix movie about Anne and her friend Hannah Goslar will be released.


Despite the ongoing interest in Anne Frank, some Americans seem to know little about the Holocaust. During the current pandemic, this has been revealed mainly by antagonists who compare their own situation with that of Jews in Nazi Europe, as is also the case in Holland.

In Washington, noted antivirus Robert F. Kennedy Jr. On Sunday at a large demonstration: “Even in Hitler’s Germany you can cross the Alps into Switzerland. You can hide in the attic like Anne Frank “, apparently not realizing that the secret annex was in Amsterdam.

After a storm of criticism, the Kennedy family’s black sheep (son of a presidential candidate who was assassinated in 1968) was handcuffed on Tuesday: “I apologize In my reference to Anne Frank, especially the families who suffered the horrors of the Holocaust.”

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