Karl Silberbauer is in charge
Friday, 4 August 1944 was a warm and sunny day in Amsterdam. To the people in hiding, it was the 761th day in the Secret Annex, more than two years since the day Anne and her family had entered the hiding place on 6 July 1942.
Between half past ten and eleven in the morning, police officers showed up at the building at Prinsengracht 263. SS Hauptscharführer Karl Silberbauer was in charge. At the warehouse on the ground floor, the officers addressed employee Willem van Maaren. He referred them to the first floor, where the office staff was. There are no indications that Willem, or the other warehouse workers, knew that there were people in hiding in the building.
On the first floor, the office staff were working when the door suddenly opened. Helper Miep Gies was one of the office staff. After the war, she said: ‘A short man came in, holding a revolver that was pointed at me.’ The police officers walked into Victor Kugler's office: as the managing director, he was responsible for the business operations. They questioned him and took him with them to search the building.