(PresidentialHill.com)- A cold case team convened to tackle one of the biggest mysteries in modern times. They released their research, and it caused a tremendous amount of controversy.
How were Anne Frank and her family discovered in hiding? Who betrayed them?
The team, after exhaustive analysis, concluded who the likely suspect was. Their findings published in the book, “The Betrayal of Anne Frank: A Cold Case Investigation,” released early this year by the Canadian academic and author Rosemary Sullivan, immediately drew the ire of critics in the Netherlands.
The book’s Dutch publisher, Ambo Anthos, is pulling the book after pressure from Dutch historians who released an in-depth criticism of the cold case team’s findings. (The U.S. publisher announced Wednesday that it would continue to sell the book.)
Six historians and academics’ rebuttal characterized the findings as “a shaky house of cards.”
The cold-case team determined that the betrayer was a prominent Jewish notary, Arnold van den Bergh, who gave up the secret hiding spot in an Amsterdam canal-side building to save his own family from the Nazi concentration camps.
Dutch historians evaluated the team’s work, and their findings didn’t concur. The “accusation does not hold water,” they announced.
Too many assumptions were made to hold their conclusion together, and if any single step turned out to be wrong, the cards above would collapse the entire narrative.
The cold case team’s leader, Pieter van Twisk, defended their work, saying it was “very detailed and extremely solid” and said it “gives us a number of things to think about, but for the time being, I do not see that Van den Bergh can be definitively removed as the main suspect.”
The Dutch filmmaker, Thijs Bayens, who had the original concept to tackle this mystery by assembling an all-star cold case team, admitted that the team could not make a claim about Van den Bergh with 100 percent certainty.
“There is no smoking gun because betrayal is circumstantial,” Bayens told The Associated Press at the time.
HarperCollins Publishers stands by ‘The Betrayal of Anne Frank.”
“While we recognize there has been some criticism to the findings, the investigation was done with respect and the utmost care for an extremely sensitive topic,“ they said.
Anne’s father survived the holocaust. After WWII, Otto Frank published her diary, which millions around the globe read.
It’s become an enduring symbol and reminder of man’s capability to commit unthinkable atrocities.