Dutch publisher remembers discredited book about Anne Frank’s betrayal

A view of Anne Frank’s house in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, October 4, 2017. (Reuters), FILE PHOTO

AMSTERDAM – A Dutch publisher investigating a cold, discredited case into the betrayal of teenage Jewish diarist Anne Frank said on Tuesday it was recalling the book after a report critical of its findings.

Experts have widely rejected Canadian bestselling author Rosemary Sullivan’s “Anne Frank’s Betrayal: A Cold Investigation of the Case” novel since its January release.

The book named a Jewish notary, Arnold van den Berg, the prime suspect in exposing the family’s hideout to the Nazis.

There was a backlash from Jewish groups and independent historians and scholars who later criticized the Cold Case team’s conclusion.

Last month, Europe’s main national Jewish community group urged HarperCollins to pull the English version, saying it tarnished the memory of Anne Frank and the dignity of Holocaust survivors.

On Tuesday, a counter-report by World War II experts and historians was released in the Netherlands, saying that the conclusions of the cold case team, led by a retired US FBI investigator, did not stand up to professional scrutiny.

The report concluded that it was “without exception extremely weak, based on occasional apparent misreading of sources, fabricated additions to sources, and in no way subject to critical appraisal.”

The experts found that “there is no serious evidence for this serious accusation.”

In response, Dutch publisher Ambo Anthos said: “Based on the conclusions of this report, we have determined that it is effective immediately, the book will no longer be available. We will invite libraries to return their stock.”

The English version of the book was published by HarperCollins. HarperCollins did not respond to a request for comment.

Anne’s diary of life in hiding has been translated into 60 languages.

She and seven other Jews were discovered in August 1944 after escaping captivity for nearly two years in a secret annex above a canal-side warehouse in Amsterdam. They were all deported and Anne died in the Bergen-Belsen camp at the age of 15.

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