It was even on the news. A team of 20 cold case “detectives” have finally found who actually betrayed the Frank family by telling the Nazis where they were hiding. The suspected person who did this was even a Jewish accountant and member of the Jewish Council at the time of World War II in Amsterdam. The suspected motivation is that he did this to protect his own family from going to the concentration camps and ending up in the gas chamber.
The story of Anne Frank and her diary is well known in The Netherlands and also around the world particularly in the USA and Canada. For many Dutch people, it is one of the many stories that highlight the cruelties that occurred during that time against humanity by the Nazis. I was brought up with stories of the resistance which spoke to me how people jeopardised their own lives to prevent our Jewish citizens to go on transport to the concentration camps. Maybe that is why Anna Franks's house at the Westermarkt in Amsterdam is mostly visited by foreigners.
Interesting is that the outcome of the cold case is not shared by leading Dutch historians. It is highlighted by them that their main conclusion is based on a number of assumptions. This was not a barrier for the cold case team to allow the publication of a book on the subject, written by a Canadian author. To me, it feels like when one writes or speaks about a situation like – apartheid in South Africa, the caste system in India, the impacts of migration in Europe - without really deeply understanding the context/culture in which it all takes place”. I guess the book will sell well as there are also 30 million copies sold of Anne Frank's diary.
But if “proof” is built on assumptions, what does this all mean to those affected by these assumptions?. What does it mean to the grandchildren and wider family of the alleged “traitor”? It just shows that it is difficult to live with unanswered questions. It is said that Otto Frank, Anne Frank's father, knew who it was that betrayed his family. He chose to keep it for himself. Maybe we should honour that decision and stop digging. I don’t think solving the mystery is a biggy for the Dutch.