Statement cold case counter-investigation


March 23, 2022 — On 17 January the Anne Frank House posted a statement on our website in response to the publication of the book The Betrayal of Anne Frank. In it we asked critical questions concerning a number of aspects of the investigation, in which the cold case team identified the Jewish notary Arnold van den Bergh as the probable betrayer of Anne Frank.

We questioned several elements of the investigation: the anonymous letter, the lists supposedly held by the Jewish Council, and Arnold van den Bergh’s location after February 1944. We also placed question marks by the team’s dating of the letter. In that statement we indicated the need for further research.

Complete statement: Anne Frank House and cold case investigation

A number of experts have now carried out further research on their own initiative. This investigation has generated important insights, some of them also new, into the above points and others. Its findings are contrary to the cold case team’s conclusions regarding Van den Bergh. The researchers convincingly show that on the basis of the available information Arnold van den Bergh cannot be accused of betraying Anne Frank and the seven other people in hiding in the secret annexe.

‘Our question marks by the cold case team’s conclusions are supported by this counter-investigation by prominent historians. You must not mark someone down in history as the betrayer of Anne Frank if you don’t have conclusive evidence for this. We hope that with this counter-investigation Van den Bergh’s name has been cleared, also for the sake of his descendants, including his granddaughter Mirjam de Gorter.’