Speed Reads

history's mysteries

Researchers say they may have figured out who betrayed Anne Frank to the Nazis

More than 75 years after Anne Frank's family was betrayed to the Nazis, a team of investigators say they have identified the person they think may have revealed the address of their hiding place in Amsterdam.

The researchers named Arnold van den Bergh, who worked as a notary and served on the Jewish council the Nazis set up to carry out policies in the community. They believe he provided information on Jewish individuals in hiding in exchange for protection, as he spent the last years of the war not in a concentration camp, but living openly in Amsterdam. Van den Bergh died in 1950.

The Frank family — Anne, her father Otto, her mother Edith, and her sister Margot — went into hiding in 1942, living in an annex behind Otto's warehouse with four other Jewish people. They were found on Aug. 4, 1944, and sent to concentration camps; Anne was 15 when she died at Bergen-Belsen in February 1945. Otto is the only person from the annex who survived, and in 1947, he published his daughter's diary, which had been tucked away by one of the Dutch workers who helped them while in hiding.

In 2016, a documentary filmmaker brought together a team of investigators, including former FBI agent Vince Pankoke, to see if they could once and for all determine who betrayed the Franks. The team revealed what they learned in their research on 60 Minutes Sunday.

There were two police investigations into who gave away the hiding place, conducted in 1947 and 1963, and the team said they uncovered a report from the second probe that stated Otto Frank received an anonymous note shortly after the war ended that said van den Bergh had betrayed him. The son of the detective who wrote the report found the piece of paper in his father's records and shared it with the team.

Pankoke told 60 Minutes there's no evidence van den Bergh knew if there were still people hiding at the addresses he gave the Nazis, and it's not entirely clear why Otto Frank didn't go public with the information he received in the anonymous note. Pankoke said since van den Bergh was Jewish, Otto Frank might have thought it would "only stoke the fires further." A book about the probe, The Betrayal of Anne Frank: A Cold Case Investigation, is out Tuesday. Read more at CBS News.