The Dutch publisher of a controversial book about Anne Frank, which claims she was betrayed by a member of the Jewish community, has canceled reprints of the title pending an investigation.
The Betrayal of Anne Frank by Rosemary Sullivan is published in Holland by Ambo Anthos which has admitted in an email to its authors that it should have taken a more “critical stance” on the title. HarperCollins published the title in the UK in January.
The book is based on findings by a team including a retired U.S. FBI agent and around 20 historians, criminologists and data specialists, which identified a relatively unknown figure, Jewish notary Arnold van den Bergh, as a leading suspect in revealing the hideout.
But the head of a foundation set up by Anne Frank’s father, Otto, criticised this investigation. The book claims that as a member of the Jewish council in Amsterdam, an administrative body the German authorities forced Jews to establish, van den Bergh would probably have had access to the places in which Jewish people were hiding. But the foundation set up by Anne Frank’s father, the Basel-based Anne Frank Fund, and historian Erik Somers of the Dutch Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, question this and say the book is “full of errors” and offers no proof.
Anne and seven other Jews were discovered by the Nazis on Aug. 4, 1944, after hiding for nearly two years in a secret annex above a canal-side warehouse in Amsterdam. All were deported and Anne died in the Bergen Belsen camp at the age of 15. Her now-famous diary was later published by her father,
In the UK, HarperCollins is making no comment. In Holland, publisher Ambo Anthos said: “We await the answers from the researchers to the questions that have emerged and are delaying the decision to print another run,” the email from the Amsterdam firm said. “We offer our sincere apologies to anyone who might feel offended by the book.”.
The Diary of Anne Frank has sold more than 30 million copies and has been translated into more than 70 languages.