Man who betrayed Anne Frank to Nazis was likely Jewish "leader" Arnold van den Bergh

Originally published at: Man who betrayed Anne Frank to Nazis was likely Jewish "leader" Arnold van den Bergh | Boing Boing


From what I’ve read of this team’s research, there were all too many candidates – gentile and Jewish, desperate and eager, coerced and willing – who might have betrayed the families hiding in the secret annex.

The heroes and resisters, like Miep Gies in the case of the Frank family, are relatively rare. The vast majority of people who live under a sado-populist regime, including those living under foreign occupation by one, tend to acquiesce to its demands. The Nazi period gave us a whole group of terms for these varied types that we use to this day: Quislings, kapos, “Good Germans”, etc.

The time for the masses to stop the fascists is before they gain power in their own country. It’s lesson I’m afraid current societies have forgotten (assuming they ever learned them in the first place).


The conclusion is tentative

Even “likely” is a huge distortion. The 60 Minutes feature was really an exercise in click-bait. The only “evidence” they have is non-evidence: van den Bergh [as well as tens of thousand others] was not taken away by the Gestapo in the main haul. There are many, many things of value he could have provided, that do not involve turning over the hiding place of the Frank family. Then, they again make non-evidence into evidence: Otto Frank’s silence after 1947 is somehow dispositive of Jewish complicity (perhaps he was just emotionally exhausted with an investigation that seemed unresolvable).

Ok, and the anonymous note to Otto Frank that accused van den Bergh-- but that almost raises more questions than it answers. The anonymous source knows a lot about the internals of the Gestapo. If he was doing such a good deed, why did he seek to remain anonymous? What if he sent the note to throw the scent off his own collaboration?

Yup, we just pitched all these WW2-era docs into the ole AI bin and the AI knew what to do!

It was like when they uttered “AI”, we were supposed to all nod reverently and come back with: “Oh, well, AI… Then your methods are unimpeachable.”


He was also a man who was deeply obsessed with propriety and appearances (e.g. redacting diary entries dealing with his adolescent daughter’s sexual thoughts). He would have hidden any accusation he received about any alleged Jewish betrayer.


Post War at that. There’s also apparently a 3rd party hear say claim about van den Bergh. So and so told me they overheard a guard say X sort of thing.

Weighted against a complete lack of evidence that anyone at the Jewish Council had any knowledge of those in hiding or their locations, that it had been disbanded long before. And Franks own statement that he did not know van den Bergh at all.

There’s also that this is a pop book, going through the PR cycle. Not an academic publication. Which is seldom a good sign. A lot of what I’ve seen so far on it, it’s just rooted in a lot of assumptions. If this happened, then that might of happened, and of course so and so would know whats a things.

Along with the AI thing. They don’t seem clear with what they mean by “used AI”, or how, or why that would be compelling as evidence.

I’ve seen comments from academic historians that aren’t just dismissive. But angry. Post War Europe was loaded with these sorts of rumors and accusations, apparently Amsterdam in particular. Claims of Jewish Collaboration, and discussion around the Jewish Councils are still very heated and controversial.


Ugh. I hope ”Independent writer/investigator reveals likely identity of person who betrayed Anne Frank’s family!” doesn’t become the next ”Independent writer/investigator reveals likely identity of [Jack the Ripper | Zodiac Killer | “Real” author of Shakespeare’s works | etc]!”


It’s actually been a thing for a good long time. It just usually doesn’t get this amount of press.

Honestly the idea that who gave them up is important in anyway is kinda gross.


The quotation marks around “leader” in the headline seem more than a bit judgy. I hope you are never in a situation where you have to chose between the lives of your family and the lives of another family in your community.


The kind of thing of which 60 Minutes/CBS is accused here is pretty much the norm for the mainstream.
What should be kept in mind that the complicity of Jews with Nazis was in fact a thing. Regrettably, sure, but understandable given the circumstances (not a defense or condoning).

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It’s hard for anyone to put themselves in that position, but agreed that it would take a very strong person to say “do what you will to myself and my loved ones, I will protect these strangers with my dying breath”.

I think most people would crumble when faced with those circumstances (then probably be crushed by guilt afterwards).

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I watched Escape From Sobibor many years ago, there was a scene where a soldier told 13 people to choose someone to die with or he would kill everyone. It was the most heart breaking and terrifying thing to watch.

I can not imagine or know what I would do facing such a decision

We took our daughter to the Zekelman Holocaust Center on a grade school trip, at the end of the tour there was a presentation by three survivors. I’ve never seen kids of that age give their undivided attention to anyone.

It should be required curriculum in every school.

So, as far as this story, I’m trying to figure out why it matters, no one that didn’t live it is in a position to judge anyone that was trying to survive.

Unless I’m missing something behind the need to know this stuff we should just let them rest in peace.


+100 to all those who pointed out that this is shaky. I can’t see any good coming out of even the existence of a story like this, it just feeds some of the antisemitic tropes that have been re-emerging in recent years.

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