Man accused of betraying Anne Frank and her family innocent, says granddaughter

The granddaughter of the man who has been accused of betraying Anne Frank and her family has protested that her grandfather is innocent.

Arnold van den Bergh's granddaughter is "upset" by the allegations that he tipped off the Nazis to the family's Amsterdam hiding place in a secret annex.

The mystery re-emerged after a team of cold case researchers suggested van den Bergh, a Jewish notary, is a likely suspect who betrayed the iconic 15-year-old Anne Frank and her family to the Gestapo.

They argued that he had given up the family and other Jewish safehouses as a way as a means to protect his own family from being sent to the concentration camps.

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However now his granddaughter, who said that she is "ashamed" of the allegations but said that she has found holes in the evidence which casts doubt on whether he is truly responsible.

Friend of the family Paul Theelen told the Mail: "They are claiming that her grandfather betrayed Anne Frank to save his own family.

"But that just doesn't add up as a motive. He had three daughters and all of them were in hiding at the time.

"He was also in hiding with his wife in Laren so there was no motivation.

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"He was an intelligent man and it is possible that he may have delayed his own deportation in 1943 – but he ended up having to hide."

The shocking allegations arose this week in a documentary on CBS, and in a book called The Betrayal of Anne Frank by biographer Rosemary Sullivan.

He was named in a letter sent to Anne's father Otto after the Second World War ended, with researchers concluding that Otto did not make the letter public at the time as he feared anti-Semitic reprisals.

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The allegations also relied on van den Bergh's membership of the Jewish Council, which was a body set up by Nazis to monitor the local Jewish population.

But this could also have been a motivating factor for someone who held a grudge to write the letter to Otto, Theelen explained, as very few members of the council actually survived.

Mr van den Bergh also lost several family members in the Holocaust, contesting the claims that his family received preferential treatment.

These relatives included his sister, who died in Auschwitz in July 1944 aged 61, and niece Millie who was only 23 when she was murdered at the extermination camp in Sobibór.

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