Nazis caught Anne Frank over illegal food trade, new study suggests

The findings are potentially controversial because the story of Anne Frank is seen as emblematic both of Dutch heroism during the Holocaust and of collaboration with the Nazis.

By JTA
December 17, 2016 07:34
2 minute read.
Anne Frank

Anne Frank.. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

AMSTERDAM — The raid on Anne Frank’s hiding place in Amsterdam may have been over illegal trade in food rations and other issues and not the result of betrayal, new research suggests.

On Friday, the Anne Frank House in the Dutch capital published the results of its research into what led policemen working for the Nazi occupation authorities to the home of the family of the teenage Jewish diarist, whose writing became world famous after she perished at the age of 15 in a concentration camp.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


The findings are potentially controversial because the story of Anne Frank is seen as emblematic both of Dutch heroism during the Holocaust and of collaboration with the Nazis – for which Dutch prime ministers have consistently declined to apologize despite calls to do so.

“The question has always been: Who betrayed Anne Frank and the others in hiding? This explicit focus on betrayal, however, limits the perspective on the arrest,” the Anne Frank House wrote in the five-page summary of the new study, which relies also on entries from Anne’s diary.

The entries, the study suggests, show the hiding house on Prinsengracht 263 was tied to activities punishable under the Nazi occupation in addition to Dutch underground fighters’ sheltering of Jews there.

“Anne Frank’s diary did provide an interesting new clue,” the study reads. “Beginning on March 10, 1944, she repeatedly wrote about the arrest of two men who dealt in illegal ration cards. She calls them ‘B’ and ‘D,’ referring to the salesmen Martin Brouwer and Pieter Daatzelaar.”

The two men represented Gies & Co., a company that was affiliated with the Opekta firm owned by Anne Frank’s father, Otto, and located on Prinsengracht 263.



“B. and D. have been caught, so we have no coupons,” Anne Frank wrote on March 14, 1944. “This clearly indicates that the people in hiding got at least part of their ration coupons from these salesmen,” the study states.

Other evidence shows that people associated with Prinsengracht 263 had been punished by the Nazi occupation for evading work.

“A company where people were working illegally and two sales representatives were arrested for dealing in ration coupons obviously ran the risk of attracting the attention of the authorities,” the author of the new study wrote. “While searching for people in hiding, fraud with ration coupons could be detected since they were often dependent on clandestine help.”

Yet, “until now the assumption related to this matter” has always been that agents working for the occupation “were specifically looking for Jews in hiding” when they raided the hiding place, the authors continued.

Over the years, researchers have presented various hypotheses on who may have betrayed the Franks to the Nazis, though none of the suspects were accepted as consensus.

“Despite decades of research, betrayal as a point of departure has delivered nothing conclusive,” Ronald Leopold, the executive director of the Anne Frank House, said about the study. The investigation “does not refute the possibility that the people in hiding were betrayed, but illustrates that other scenarios should also be considered.”

Related Content

August 15, 2018
Herzog to chair the Genesis Prize Selection Committee

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF