Monday, October 31, 2022

Who Revealed the Hiding Place of Anne Frank, Her Family, and the Others?

Image Courtesy of Wikipedia...

A few weeks ago, I listened to a podcast that talked about the Anne Frank House. It's the office building that housed the Secret Annex that hid eight people in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam from July 6, 1942 to August 4, 1944 (twenty-five months) including Anne Frank and her family. It's now a museum and a place of remembrance, research, and education as Dr Gertjan Broek, Senior Historical Researcher at the Anne Frank House, shared recently on the Warfare Podcast.

July of 2022 was the 80th anniversary of the Frank family and three others going into hiding. The eighth person joined them a few months later.

When the Anne Frank House decided to branch out into researching the lives of the fourteen protagonists of the Anne Frank story, Dr Broek, already employed by the Anne Frank House at the time, became the primary researcher of the lives of those eight people hidden in the Secret Annex as well as the six people who took on the responsibility of keeping the Franks, the Van Pels, and Franz Pfeffer hidden, fed, and occupied.

One of the things Dr Broek said was that a lot of us (the general population) have, for whatever reason, believed that the Franks' presence in Amsterdam was a last minute thing. In fact, the Franks had moved to The Netherlands some years earlier due to the economic downturn in Germany where they were originally from. In the ensuing years in Amsterdam, Otto Frank, Anne's father had established a network of associates and friends. These are the people he turned to when deciding to place his family into hiding.

Over the course of the two years they were hidden, the stowaways helped keep the businesses in that office space operating--if those companies had gone out of business, then the office spaces would have been cleared out and then rented out again, and those folks in hiding would have been found much sooner.

The other thing that Dr Broek shared is that there's really no evidence that any one person revealed the secret hiding place to the Nazis. A handful of people have been suspects over the years, but investigations have never turned up definitive evidence linking any one person as the anonymous tipster. His belief is that nn unfortunate series of events including increasing raids in the area and a crackdown on the trading of ration vouchers is the best working theory. 

If you're interested in learning more about the people who surrounded Anne Frank during those two year, visit the Anne Frank House website.

Take care and have a great week...

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