The Hague: Anne Frank may not have been betrayed to Nazi occupiers, but captured by chance.
A new study published by the Anne Frank House museum in Amsterdam says that despite decades of research there is no conclusive evidence that the Jewish diarist and her family were betrayed to the Netherlands’ German occupiers during WWII, leading to their arrest and deportation.
Ronald Leopold, executive director of the museum, said new research “illustrates that other scenarios should also be considered.”
One possible theory is that the August 4, 1944, raid that led to Anne’s arrest could have been part of an investigation into illegal labour or falsified ration coupons at the canal-side house where she and other Jews hid for just over two years.
Anne kept a diary during her time in hiding that was published after the war and turned her into a globally recognised symbol of Holocaust victims. She died in the Bergen-Belsen Nazi concentration camp at age 15, shortly before it was liberated by Allied forces.
The research points to two men who worked in the building on Amsterdam’s Prinsengracht canal and dealt in illegal ration cards. They were arrested earlier in 1944 and subsequently released. The arrests also are mentioned in Anne’s diary. Such arrests were reported to an investigation division based in The Hague and the report says that, “During their day-to-day activities, investigators from this department often came across Jews in hiding by chance.”
Another possibility is the raid was part of an investigation into people being allowed to work to prevent them being called up as forced labor and sent to Germany.