The mystery surrounding betrayal of Anne Frank and her family has been an unanswered question since 1944 when their Amsterdam hideout was raided by the Gestapo.
The diary Anne Frank kept during her family’s period of hiding from the Nazis has become a best seller and classic story of personal human suffering.
Now the story of who betrayed the Frank family has generated a controversy of its own. This is a tragedy which has no end.
Excerpted from Deutsche Welle 2.17.2022
The director of HarperCollins Germany, Jürgen Welte, has justified the decision to publish Rosemary Sullivan’s “The Betrayal of Anne Frank” by saying that they want to enable “all interested readers […] to form their own independent opinion of the book and the associated media discussion,” he said in a press statement.
They are currently working on a “corrected, supplemented and annotated German-language edition,” the publisher added.
“The Betrayal of Anne Frank” was published in several languages in January. In it, author Rosemary Sullivan lays out the investigative work of a Dutch-American team led by former FBI agent Vince Pankoke.
The team had claimed in February to have discovered who betrayed Anne Frank and her family to the Gestapo in Amsterdam during World War II. A Jewish notary was named as the guilty party, with “85% probability.” The presumption of innocence did not seem to apply in this case.
Critics found the book to be written in the style of a true-crime story, and the investigators’ actions appear speculative and dubious.
The book caused heated debate in the Netherlands. Historians found numerous factual errors. Jewish associations also sharply criticized the book’s publication.
In response, the Dutch publisher Ambo Anthos apologized for the publication and announced that it would not publish a second edition until the team of investigators had answered the questions raised.
Anne Frank and her family were murdered in Nazi concentration camps in 1945. Only her father Otto survived, and after the war, he published Anne’s diary, which has since reached millions of readers around the world.
Following the controversy surrounding the book upon its publication in English and other languages, HarperCollins Germany decided to postpone the publication of the German-language version. Initially planned for March, the publisher has yet to announce a new publication date.
Welte’s written statement goes on to say that it will not comment on remaining questions “until the book’s publication date, which has not yet been set.”