Who betrayed the Frank family? - Sreenita Nair

Anne Frank, her family, and four friends concealed themselves from the Nazis for more than two terrifying years. Even after cautiously waiting out the war, someone betrayed them and blew their cover. Who was it?


Anne Frank was born on June 12, 1929, and remains possibly the most recognized victim of the Holocaust. A few weeks before her family was driven into hiding, her parents gifted her a diary for her thirteenth birthday. Anne used this diary to pen down her aspirations, feelings, and experiences in Amsterdam. The diary was then later found in their secret hiding place and was published as a book in 1947. Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl was transcribed into sixty different languages and sold more than 30 million copies.


After realizing what would happen if he didn’t hide his loved ones, Otto Frank moved four friends and his family into a concealed room above his office in central Amsterdam. Reliable employees, friends, and business associates were all depended on to keep the Jews safely hidden. On the fateful day of August 4, 1944, four or five Nazi soldiers invaded the building and arrested the Frank family and friends. The family was deported to Auschwitz and were then all segregated from each other and sent to different camps. Anne died at the tender age of fifteen. Otto Frank was the only member of the group to survive the holocaust.


Over the years, many different parties such as Dutch police, Nazi hunters, and historians have attempted to find the person who had turned in the group. Numerous records and police transcripts were examined and the arresting Nazi officer was also interrogated after the war. As the investigation went on, speculation fell on Willem Van Maaren, who worked in the warehouse that was connected to Frank's hideout. But even after two thorough police investigations, no evidence was found against him. More recently people have new thoughts on who the traitor is, one suggestion points to Anton Ashers who was part of the Dutch Nazi movement and a petty business associate of Otto’s. The other suggestion indicates that the cleaning lady, Lena Hartog, who also worked in the warehouse might be the culprit. Both arguments and their supporting evidence have been scrutinized but considering that both possible felons are no longer alive, neither speculation could be confirmed. Even though the different parts of the story are coming to a close, the mystery still remains. Who do you think betrayed the Frank family and their four friends?




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