Arrest and release of Karl Silberbauer

1963 Vienna

In 1963, former Nazi Karl Silberbauer was arrested in Vienna. He was the SD man who had arrested the eight people in hiding in 1944. Since 1946, he had been a policeman in Vienna, just like he had been before the Second World War. Silberbauer was tracked down by Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal.

In a written statement, Silberbauer said that he would probably have forgotten about the arrest of the people in hiding if Anne Frank and her diary had not become so well-known. He recalled many details about the arrest, but nothing about a traitor.

The Viennese police suspended Silberbauer during the investigation, but he was allowed to come back to work when he could not be prosecuted. In 1944, he had acted 'by order' and during the arrest he had behaved 'correctly'.