April 14, 2017

New perspective on Anne Frank's arrest

On December 16, 2016, the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam published new research about the arrest of Anne Frank and the occupants of the Secret Annex. 

On August 4, 1944, the 8 Jews hiding in the Secret Annex and 2 of their helpers, Jo Kleiman and Victor Kugler, were arrested. "Who betrayed them?" or "who turned them in?" is one of the most common questions visitors to Anne Frank in the World have.

Anne documented her life for the duration of her time in hiding. Her last diary entry is dated 3 days before the arrest. For decades, the narrative for the period from August 1 until Anne's death includes a story of betrayal and subsequent arrest of those hiding in the Secret Annex. While theories of the betrayer's identity have been scrutinized, the premise of betrayal itself has not been closely examined.

Despite decades of research, betrayal as a point of departure has delivered nothing conclusive. The Anne Frank House's new investigation does not refute the possibility that the people in hiding were betrayed, but illustrates that other scenarios should also be considered. Hopefully more researchers will see reason to follow up new leads." - Ronald Leopold, Executive Director Anne Frank House

This investigative report provides a new perspective on the impetus for the arrests at 263 Prinsengracht. It does not refute the possibility of betrayal but it addresses the existing assumptions and suggests new considerations.

This is not the first time our understanding of events in Anne's life have been altered with new research. In 2015, the Anne Frank House released new scholarship that changed the long-held estimated date of death for Anne and her sister, Margot. The girls died of typhus at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in February 1945, a month earlier than previously accepted.

The Anne Frank House is committed to telling Anne's story as completely and accurately as possible. The Georgia Commission on the Holocaust shares that pledge as we tell Anne's story with the Anne Frank in the World exhibit.

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