Friday 16 December 2022
Hier te downloaden:
Formeel verweer en eindoordeel van het Cold Case Team ten aanzien van kritiek van historici
Dit rapport is de formele reactie van twee hoofdvertegenwoordigers van het CCT op het rapport van zes historici dat verscheen op 22 maart 2022 onder de titel: De Joodse notaris en de beschuldiging van verraad: Kritische analyse van argumentatie en brongebruik in Het verraad van Anne Frank.
Friday 1 July 2022
Al tijdens het onderzoek heeft Proditione Media een deel van data van het CCT-onderzoek (Residents Project) gedeeld met het Anne Frank Huis. Eerder dit jaar werd het dossier van politieman Arend van Helden op voorspraak van het CCT aan het Stadsarchief in Amsterdam overhandigd door zijn zoon Maarten van Helden. Eind Augustus 2022 volgt de overhandiging van de resterende data van het CCT aan het Stadsarchief. Daarmee heeft Proditione Media en het CCT voldaan aan alle in de subsidieaanvraag van de gemeente Amsterdam gestelde tegenprestaties.
During the investigation, Proditione Media shared a part of its CCT data (Residents Project) with the Anne Frank House. Earlier this year, on the intercession of the CCT, the Arend van Helden’s police file was handed over to the Amsterdam City Archives by his son Maarten van Helden. By the end of August 2022, the remaining data from the CCT will be handed over to the City Archives. At that moment, Proditione Media and the CCT have complied with all the considerations stated in the subsidy application.
Monday 21 March 2022
REBUTTAL TO INVESTIGATIVE CRITICISMS PART II
The following is Part II of my rebuttal addressing the criticisms put forth regarding our investigation.
Doubt as to when Otto Frank received the anonymous note.
Otto Frank was quoted as telling Detective Van Helden, that he received the note shortly after liberation (1964 Department of Criminal Investigation’s summary report, pages 18-19). We do not believe that Otto Frank was less than candid or misspoke during his official statement. Otto was without a doubt an honest, precise, and meticulous man. He would not intentionally or unintentionally have made the mistake of saying “shortly after liberation,” when he actually meant it was in 1958.
The historian making this statement incorrectly attempts to use the 31 March 1958, letter Kleiman sent Otto, to date the time period when the anonymous note appeared. In this letter, Kleiman questions why, after all this time, does someone come forward with this information. (see Chapter 38 footnote 6, in Sullivan’s book). Also in the letter, Kleiman states that Otto’s notary and fellow AFH/AFS board member, Van Hasselt, gave him the note. This supports our point, that Otto never informed Kleiman of the note’s existence, but Van Hasselt is the one that told Kleiman. This proves that Kleiman was unaware of when Otto received the note and was kept in the dark by Otto. Correspondence from Kugler during this same time period mentions the post-war confrontation with the Dutch detectives, but he too never mentioned anything about the anonymous note. Further, a review of all of Victor Kugler’s statements, including interviews for the book, Victor Kugler: The Man Who Hid Anne Frank, he never indicates being aware of Otto receiving the note.
When Otto made this statement to the detective in 1963, the year 1958 was not even remotely considered “shortly after liberation”. The importance of the statement is so crucial that a seasoned detective such as Van Helden would have confirmed this point with Otto. We did consider the possibility that Detective Van Helden somehow misunderstood Otto and wrote it down incorrectly but considering the consistency of his case reports in other details, we found this highly unlikely.
The corroboration of when Otto received the note came when he confronted one of the incarcerated Dutch detectives (Gringhuis) who participated in the raid with the name Van den Bergh. It is clear that Otto began to look for those who were responsible for causing the raid in November and December of 1945. In letters to his mother and cousin Milly, dated 11 November 1945 and 16 November 1945, respectively, he informed them of such. Up until this time, there is no indication that Otto was interested in determining who caused the raid. Other than the passing of time, something had changed that inspired him to do so. The only event that we learned of that could have been the impetus for Otto to begin the search was what he told the detective in 1963, he received an anonymous note shortly after liberation identifying the name of the betrayer.
Considering that Otto’s statement to Detective Van Helden was provided in December 1963 after Simon Wiesthenthal identified Karl Silberbauer as the leader of the Annex raid team, we could not identify a good reason for Otto to be disingenuous about when he received the note. At the time of Otto’s interview (2-3 Dec 1963), it was still uncertain to him (Otto) if Silberbauer knew who the betrayer was. The fact that Silberbauer didn’t know the identity of who betrayed the Annex would not be discovered until months later.
It is incorrectly claimed that the writer of the anonymous note has the address of the Zentralstelle wrong, and thus clearly is not an insider.
To explain I will begin with the English translation of the anonymous note:
Your hideout in Amsterdam was reported at the time to the Judische Auswanderung in Amsterdam, Euterpestraat, by A. van den Bergh resident at Vondelpark at the time, Oranje Nassaulaan. At J.A.’s was a whole list of addresses he submitted.
The claim that the note erroneously identifies the address of the Judische Auswanderung (JA) is incorrect. We contend that when the writer uses the word Euterpestraat, he/she is not referring to the physical address of the JA, but rather the entire area occupied by the SD, which included the JA. During the war, the word Euterpestraat was used as a term synonymous with the SD location in Amsterdam. The JA, which was controlled by the SD, was located directly across the street from the SD headquarters, in the building known as the Zentralstelle. The Dutch detectives who worked for IVB4 were also located in the Zentralstelle. The back of the Zentralstelle directly bordered the Euterpestraat.
I recently met with someone from Amsterdam that lived through the war who advised me that when someone said the word Euterpestraat, it meant the entire location occupied by the SD and not necessarily just the street name. The entire area, which included the two schools occupied by the SD offices and the Zentralstelle, was referred to as the Euterpestraat. Our conversation about this came arose when the person from Amsterdam told me that she and her brother went to the Euterpestraat to gather wood after the bombing in November 1944. When I asked which building, she was referring to, she said both, but primarily the JA building. When I asked her why she said Euterpestraat, she answered that this was how the “Amsterdammers” referred to that area since it was all controlled by the SD.
The note did not say that the hideout was reported to the JA in Amsterdam on the Euterpestraat, which would have clearly indicated that the author was referring to the street name. The note says “…was reported at the time to the Judische Auswanderung in Amsterdam, Euterpestraat,…” The author of the anonymous note meant the information was turned over to the SD. Whether the list of addresses was delivered to the JA office on the Adama van Scheltemaplein or the SD building on the Euterpestraat, they were used by the SD to hunt for Jews in hiding.
This assertion that the author of the note could not have been an insider is completely wrong. It is intentionally misinterpreting the note, its meaning, and our meaning of the term “insider”.
On pages 251-252 of the English version of The Betrayal of Anne Frank, it states that the author of the note had to know Van den Bergh and had to be privy to some sort of inside information. We never definitively stated that the author of the anonymous note was an insider of a particular group, just that they had access to inside information. We speculated that perhaps the writer worked for the SD (Thea Hoogenstein) since the note mentioned that many other addresses were passed to the SD, something that possibly only someone within this agency would know. Sullivan’s book makes it abundantly clear on page 253, fourth paragraph, that is unlikely, but not impossible that Hoogenstein wrote the anonymous note. It could have been someone else at the SD or someone connected to Van den Bergh that knew that he turned the lists over. But whoever the anonymous note writer was, they possessed inside information about Van den Bergh turning over these lists. It is important to understand that although investigators deal with facts, we speculate by the use of scenarios how something would or could have happened. Or in this case, who could have possibly known about the lists being passed. Although at this point we can’t be sure as to who the identity of the anonymous note’s author, what it is certain is that the author possessed specific knowledge of Van den Bergh passing the list of addresses. The act of passing this list would have not been done in a public forum, therefore only a select group of people would have been privy to this, including people in the JA and SD.
A historian claimed that the AI approach of the investigation would have been problematic due to the scarcity of documents available because most were destroyed by the Germans.
At the beginning of our investigation, we had concerns about the scarcity of documents. Were there enough documents and records available to provide the cold case investigation with adequate information? Dutch historians told us that most documents were destroyed in the November 1944 bombing of the SD HQ and Zentralstelle buildings. Following cold case protocol, we could not accept this conclusion without conducting our own due diligence. Our efforts were rewarded when we, for example, found over 950 Kopgeld receipts in the records of the US National Archives, Captured Nazi Records Collection.
As we conducted an inventory of the type and number of available documents that were available, we quickly realized that in contrast to what historians told us, there was a vast amount of information from this period that may hold some value. These included but were not limited to residence cards, personal cards, police incident reports from the Amsterdam Stadsarchief, CABR and other wartime records from the Netherland National Archives, captured Nazi records at the US National Archives, and ITS-Bad Arlson records. Additionally, all of the records from our various Investigative Initiatives (e.g. Residents Project, Statements Project, etc.) and interviews became part of the AI database.
The problem quickly presented itself that the number of research hours needed to comb through the information for pertinent details was quite large. Then there was the realization that even if we had the research hours to complete such a task, the factor of human error in reviewing, recording, and recalling the details still existed. Enter the AI program, which enabled us to load vast amounts of records and make them word-searchable, along with determining what information was valuable and what was not. The AI experts at Microsoft and Plain Concepts were able to modify an existing program to accommodate the vast amount of data in various formats that the team gathered. The final product was an AI program that could filter out non-related data as well as link critical information such as names, events, addresses, arrests, and statements. This enabled the team to find connections that were not apparent by human review.
Arnold van den Bergh was a “decent guy” and therefore could never have committed a crime and betrayed the address of the Annex.
We never claimed that Van den Bergh was anything but a decent man, but that in and of itself does not make him incapable of doing something out of character in order to save his family or himself. He is not to blame, the Nazis are.
If this statement was true, it would make police investigations so much easier. Using this line of thinking, it would mean that if the suspect of a crime was described as a decent guy, investigators could save time by simply eliminating him/her from the list of suspects. Of course, this is ridiculous, it just does not work this way. The problem of criminal conduct and the reasons why people do the things they do are complex and has nothing to do with how ‘decent’ the person is.
If investigators in real life would follow this reasoning, it would create serious problems, even in the early stages of their investigation. First of all, what is the clear definition of ‘decent’ guy, as there are many definitions? They would struggle with the well-known problem of inter-rater reliability. If there was a “decent guy exemption,” investigators would need to follow their ‘gut feeling’ when deciding who is decent and who is not. They would be tempted to follow their own emotions, which would make their judgment highly subjective, something that professional investigative teams constantly have to fight against.
This line of thinking just does not make sense and is not applicable in practice. Given the above, my team and I consider this a naive and uneducated opinion. Nevertheless, I will address this point in more depth as it seems to be a more widespread perception of human behavior.
I am curious which (reliable) sources were used to conclude that Van den Bergh was a decent person. As mentioned earlier the record clearly shows that we never said that Van den Bergh was a bad person.
The context and circumstances that Van den Bergh and his family lived in during the war, could have made him do things that he would normally (in other circumstances) not do, for example, betraying other people. Our Cold Case Team’s advisor, investigative psychologist Bram van der Meer, clearly pointed out in the CBS program “60 Minutes”, the importance of understanding people’s decision-making in the context of war. Only if we understand the context, we can begin to understand someone’s behavior.
Whether or not Van den Bergh was a decent, kind, and caring person has never been relevant to our investigation. Our seasoned investigators stayed as close as possible to the facts they found, and always carefully weighed the reliability and the strength of the information that was uncovered.
People persevering in their opinion that Van den Bergh was a decent person and therefore could not be considered the betrayer, seem very much focused on his personality traits and minimize or even ignore the context in which Van den Bergh most likely decided to hand over the lists of addresses to the Nazis. These critics are making a fundamental mistake, a critical error that has been well described by social psychologists since the 1970s. It is referred to as the ‘fundamental attribution error’, also known as correspondence bias or over-attribution effect. It is described as the tendency for people to over-emphasize dispositional or personality-based explanations for behaviors observed in others while under-emphasizing situational explanations. In other words, people tend to have a cognitive bias causing them to assume that an individual’s actions depend on what “kind” of person they are, rather than on the social and environmental forces that influence them to make certain decisions or act in a certain way. A person’s actions are the result of an interplay between personal characteristics, the social environment they find themselves in, and the situation that they are confronted with. I continually witnessed this during my 35 years of law enforcement.
During the course of the 5-year investigation, my team and I have seen people who, during WWII, made terrible decisions, leading to horrific consequences for their fellow citizens: deportation, slavery, torture, starvation, and murder. These stories had an emotional impact on us, and we shared our thoughts and emotions. I want to emphasize that our team was professional and skilled enough to put these emotions aside while in the role of investigator. We were all quite aware that performing such an investigation requires the rejection of demonization. Not understanding the perpetrators in human terms would have made our investigation very difficult and increased the chances of misperceptions being made in our work. The team promoted a neutral, objective, fact-finding approach and tried to understand the behaviors and motivations of those we investigated. This reminds me of the impressive words that the French Jewish historian Marc Bloch wrote shortly before his death at the hands of the Nazis: “When all is said and done, a single word, ‘understanding’, is the beacon light of our studies”.
Those who have read Sullivan’s book will have to conclude that he was never portrayed Van den Bergh as a criminal or a bad person. I have also made it very clear in my interviews that we have identified him as a victim, not a criminal. He most likely did what he did so that he, his wife, and his daughters would avoid capture at the hands of the Nazis.
I want to conclude this criticism with a simple, straightforward statement: good people do bad things, and bad people do good things.
A Dutch journalist is still claiming that Schepers might have been the one who wrote the anonymous note since he hated Van den Bergh, and that the Cold Case Team took him off the list as a suspect because it did not fit in our narrative.
This single criticism should be considered a willful distortion of what is written in Sullivan’s book. The person making this claim isolates and focuses on only one of the arguments leading us to conclude that the author of the note was not Schepers. Although this topic was previously addressed in Sullivan’s book and in my prior rebuttal posted to the team’s website (coldcasediary.com), I will further explain. Initially, the team very carefully examined the possibility that Schepers was the author of the note. Only after a thorough investigation of the facts and circumstances did we conclude that it was not likely that he was the author of the note.
We confirmed that Schepers was immediately placed in prison at the end of the war and was hardly capable of writing notes to people returning from the camps, and if so, would have been forced to use prison stationery. However, our conclusion that Schepers was not the author of the note is not based on this alone as the journalist wants his/her audience to believe. The team revealed many other stronger arguments as to why it was not Schepers. As far as all available material proves, Schepers never knew the Franks’ or the others in the Annex, nor did he know the address. Considering this, why direct the anonymous note to Otto Frank? Of all the addresses in the Netherlands that IVB4 searched where Jews were found hiding, it is inconceivable to see how Schepers could randomly pick the Annex address to accuse Van den Bergh of betraying.
We thoroughly examined all of Schepers’s collaboration file correspondence, since he wrote extensively and made numerous accusations against Van den Bergh. Considering Schepers’s propensity to write accusatory letters to the authorities about Van den Berg, there is no logical explanation as to why he would have failed to mention this misdeed, perhaps the most serious of all he accused Van den Bergh of doing.
The journalist’s statement that Schepers was the one who wrote the note, is highly speculative and contains no proof or any viable argumentation to support this claim.
Additionally, we have heard a historian claim that the note may have been from one of Van den Bergh’s enemies including both collaborators and fellow Jews. This hollow claim provides no proof as to Van den Bergh having enemies, let alone ones that would accuse him of betraying the Annex by constructing a devious plan to send an anonymous note. As we previously pointed out, if someone had a vendetta against Van den Bergh, why send the note to Otto Frank? It has been proven that although Otto took steps to confirm the note’s validity, he never informed the authorities of its existence for 18 years. At the time, the only certain way to fulfill a grudge against Van den Bergh would have been to direct the note to the POD. A close colleague of this historian was the one who claimed that Van den Bergh was a decent guy and incapable of turning over the list.
The same journalist claims that Gringhuis was not working for the SD on 4 August 1944.
We have proven beyond reasonable doubt that Gringhuis was working for the Amsterdam SD on the date of the raid. The 4 August 1944 Annex raid was conducted by the SD’s IVB4 squad, colloquially known as the Jew hunting unit. Our research found that Gringhuis first worked for IVB4 prior to transferring to a Hague-based economic crimes unit. However, records in the Netherlands National Archive show that on 1 August 1944, Gringhuis was transferred back to the IVB4. The claim about Gringhuis not being with IVB4 was first put forth in support of a wide-ranging theory that the raid was either accidental, related to coupon fraud involving two of Opekta/Gies & Co.’s salesmen, Brouwer and Daatzelaar, for illegal workers, or resistance weapons. However, based on all available evidence, we could find no proof to support any of these claims and an abundance of information that directly contradicts this possibility.
I believe we now have addressed extensively all the points of criticism that have been made against us. If new points of critique may occur, please do not hesitate to let us know and we will address them here. Until now, we have not been presented with any piece of evidence or any new information that had enough strength to challenge our conclusion. That does not mean that we are blind to new information. In fact, we are very open to challenges, rational and respectful discussion, and are continually following up on leads sent to us. The Van den Bergh scenario is, in our opinion, still the most viable theory about the betrayal of the Prinsengracht 263.
Donderdag 24 februari 2022
Advertentie m.b.t. Het Verraad van Anne Frank
Proditione is niet verantwoordelijk voor de advertentie van Het Verraad van Anne Frank in Het Parool van 24 februari. Proditione plaatst op geen enkel medium advertenties voor het boek.
Tuesday 22 February 2022
Rebuttal to Investigation Criticisms – Part 1
Thank you for the outpouring of support from those who responded to my last posting which described the various press and experts’ criticisms toward our cold case investigation and provided additional insight into the information we had gathered over the years. I am still both surprised and concerned with what I consider to be a double standard exhibited by the critics and some of the press. I was impressed by the number of journalists from other countries who took notice of this. They too were baffled by the inequity and the fact that we were not given the opportunity to dispute the claims and criticisms.
As I emphasized in my last posting, Rosemary Sullivan did an extraordinary job of telling the story of the Annex raid and our investigation in her book, The Betrayal of Anne Frank. She was able to take the reader on an expedited journey of the Holocaust, WWII in the Netherlands, the Nazi Security Service (Sicherheitsdienst-SD), and our investigation, all in 300 + pages. However, it is important for the reader of her book to realize that she could only summarize the extent of our investigation, including our theory. It would have been impossible to write a book that would include every detail of our Cold Case Team’s five-year investigation.
I have been following the comments from several academics who seem to have missed or have chosen to ignore the details of our investigation and seem to be fixated on criticizing our theory. I expected the press and the academics to approach from a more neutral position, presenting our team with questions about the content of our findings. As we have said many times, our team is very open to answering questions and providing explanations, but the experts choose to ignore the offer and voice their opinions on social media or through one-sided news stories.
One of the main concerns I have is that the critics are presenting the results of our investigation in an incomplete or incorrect manner. When they do this in a public arena, it leads to the spread of false information. In this context, we are not afforded the opportunity to dispute their claims and criticisms. Because of who is saying it, some people may accept what they are saying as the truth, when it clearly is not.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion as to the likelihood that our theory is correct, but their comments go beyond that. The purpose of this rebuttal is to point out the facts of our investigation and theory that are being misquoted or misunderstood.
Important to note is that most of the critical comments about our investigation and theory seem to originate from these same academics, who are continually quoted as experts by the press. None of them have presented any facts or solid arguments to counter our investigative results. So far, I have only seen opinions, that cause damage to the integrity of the Cold Case Team, not facts that counter our investigative results. We encourage people to have informed opinions.
I have heard and read of our investigation being described as “paper-thin”, shoddy, and containing incorrect facts. Those who have taken the time to read Sullivan’s book and this rebuttal will realize that the outcome of the investigation is based on a combination of facts, interconnected pieces of evidence, and objective argumentation.
The following addresses some of the most common misstatements which are primarily attributed to the experts mentioned above:
1. The Cold Case Team named Van den Bergh as the betrayer simply based on the anonymous note and has no other evidence to support their theory.
I have repeatedly read this accusation, but this is a false claim. I also tend to believe that those presenting this claim did not read the book. The experts making these statements have failed to mention key pieces of evidence in an effort to present our theory as weak. My experience as a law enforcement professional is that defense attorneys utilize a similar tactic.
In my first rebuttal, I described ours as a circumstantial case, a case that is built on the collective body of evidence and how our findings fit together to form the theory that Van den Bergh is the most likely suspect. Some of these pieces of evidence are in the form of statements and actions made by both Otto Frank and his trusted employee and helper, Miep Gies. Behavioral science professionals indicate that no matter how hard people try, kept secrets tend to leak out unintentionally, through their statements or behavior. Otto’s and Miep’s words and actions were like “bread crumb clues” that were leaked in statements they made during conversation or interviews. After examining them it became clear that Otto and Miep did not want Silberbauer identified and located, but why? Of anybody left alive, certainly Silberbauer, would have known who provided the information that prompted the raid. The Cold Case Team concluded that if Silberbauer did know, Miep and Otto did not want him to be found.
After compiling these statements through our investigative initiative entitled the Statements Project, they acted as a filter, helping us to carefully eliminate other suspects and solidifying Van den Bergh as the leading theory. Multiple people who personally knew Miep and Otto have collectively said that they likely knew who the betrayer was.
-In May of 1963, Miep was not candid with the investigators from the official investigation by omitting knowing Silberbauer.
-In November of 1963, Miep said that she knew Silberbauer, but Otto told her to use a different name, Silberthaler.
-In 1994, Miep claimed that the betrayer was already dead when, in 1960, they started to investigate the betrayal again. (It is important to note that only two of the remaining suspects we investigated were dead by 1960, Arnold van den Bergh and Lammert Hartog)
-In 1994, Miep claimed that Otto knew who the betrayer was.
-In 1995, Miep told Father John Nieman that she knew who betrayed them and the person was dead. It was someone that Otto knew.
-In the 1990s, Miep told Anne Frank Stichting employees that she had a secret.
-In December of 1945, Otto confronted Gringhuis with the name of their betrayer. (The name Otto put forth was Arnold van den Bergh)
-According to Otto’s nephew Buddy Elias, when asked in 1945 why Otto wouldn’t prosecute the man who betrayed them, Otto said, “What does it help, the man is a father too and if he has to go to jail, the family has no father.”
-In circa 1947-1949, Otto stated, “we were betrayed by Jews” (Only three scenarios remained which listed Jews as suspects, Arnold Van den Bergh, Ans van Dijk and the Jewish couple arrested at the Green Grocer’s)
-In 1957, Otto and Miep provided author Ernst Schnabel with a pseudonym to use in place of Silberbauer’s (Silberthaler) name for the original German language version of Spur eines Kindes and only the initial “S” for the English language version.
-In his December 1963 interview with police detective Van Helden, Otto claimed not to know who the named betrayer, Arnold van den Bergh was.
-In December 1963, Otto wrote a letter to Miep and wondered if the new investigation would deliver anything new on Van Maaren but doubts it since there was no written evidence against him. We thought this was an odd statement. Did Otto write this because the anonymous note he received was written evidence against Van den Bergh?
-Otto said to people who asked him to reveal the name of the betrayer, “It will not bring back my family and will injure the children of the man knowing that their father is in jail.” (Arnold Van den Bergh had three children who survived the war and all outlived Otto Frank)
There were also actions and behaviors from Otto and others that raised questions and tended to support only one of the leading theories:
-By 1948, Otto seemingly stopped looking into the betrayal at about the same time as the Jewish Honor Court found Arnold van den Bergh guilty.
-In 1957-1958, Otto turned over the original anonymous note naming Van den Bergh to fellow Anne Frank Stichting board member Van Hasselt. He chose to do this, rather than approaching his long-time employee and friend, Kleiman. This was puzzling since we would have expected Otto to have turned over the note to Kleiman, who was also a victim, having been arrested during the raid. However, Van Hasselt was intimately familiar with Arnold van den Bergh and he was also Jewish, Kleiman was not.
-Circa 1959-1963, Otto failed to help Simon Wiesenthal identify the Gestapo man who led the Annex raid. He resisted working with Wiesenthal even though Wiesenthal was doing so to prove the validity of Anne’s diary and the Holocaust.
-In 1963-1964, Detective Van Helden indicated that the original betrayal note could not be located. However, the handwriting on the copy of the note says, “Hasselt has original.”
-In 1963-1964, Van Hasselt vouched for Arnold van den Bergh to Kleiman saying he was “good” when he was fully aware of the Jewish Honor Court claims of collaborating with the enemy against Van den Bergh and the other members of the Jewish Council.
In addition to the statements and actions discussed above, our theory is the only theory ever put forth in which a piece of physical evidence exists. Not only does it exist, but it also links the name of the betrayer to the Annex raid. This piece of evidence was provided by Otto Frank himself.
2. The Cold Case Team claims that Arnold van den Bergh and his wife never went into hiding.
The Cold Case Team never claimed that Arnold Van den Bergh and his wife did not go into hiding. What we determined was that there is no evidence that he went into hiding after the Jewish Council was abolished on 29 September 1943. However, we did say that he seemed to be hiding in “plain sight” after being notified that his Calmeyer status was in jeopardy (January 1944). This statement is based on the fact that Van den Bergh’s residence card(s) shows a change of address dated 15 February 1944. The card(s) show that Van den Bergh moved from Oranje Nassaulaan 60 to Nieuwendammerdijk 61.
For a change of address to be processed, Arnold Van den Berg had to be present at the Amsterdam city office to file the change. This is not the expected action for someone who is in hiding.
Below are our additional findings on the question of Van den Bergh being in hiding:
On 2 September 1943, Van den Bergh and his family received their Calmeyer status and were no longer considered Jewish as far as the Nazis were concerned. Therefore, they were not in danger of deportation at that time.
After Van den Bergh received his non-Jewish status, Jan W. Schepers, the Aryan notary previously named to replace him, proposed that they run the notary office together. When Van den Bergh disagreed in October of 1943, Schepers began writing letters to various Nazi-controlled offices in which he repeatedly denounced Van den Bergh’s Calmeyer ruling as based on false documentation and therefore incorrectly awarded.
It wasn’t until 4 January 1944, that Van den Bergh was warned that his status was in jeopardy, but it was not officially placed under review until the Calmyer office issued a letter to this effect on 21 January 1944. Prior to these actions, Van den Bergh would not have gone into hiding for two primary reasons, 1) he was still considered non-Jewish and 2) his close associate and Aryan guardian, Alois Miedl, was still living and working in Amsterdam.
Official records show that Van den Bergh did not leave his Oranje Nassaulaan home until registering at a new address on February 15, 1944. We’ve already pointed out that making this address registration change would have required him to appear in person at the Amsterdam city office to declare his new address of Nieuwendammerdijk 61. The Cold Case Team located and interviewed a witness who claimed that they could not recall Van den Bergh ever occupying the home during this period. As detailed in Sullivan’s book, we feel that Van den Bergh could have intentionally registered at this address without ever intending to occupy it. We concluded this after learning that the Nieuwendammerdijk home was occupied at that time by a clerk from Van den Bergh’s office, someone loyal who would notify him of official inquiries as to his whereabouts. Most likely this was a type of “early warning” protection put into place by Van den Bergh, whom we learned to be an ever cautious and intelligent man.
After 15 February 1944, we are uncertain as to Van den Bergh and his wife’s whereabouts. Some people claim that they “believe” or “heard” that they were hiding in the city of Laren, a community 31 kilometers southeast of Amsterdam. Laren was known to have numerous places where people were in hiding. The Cold Case Team could not definitively confirm these rumors. However, we did locate a statement indicating that for a short time, they were hiding in the Amsterdam home of Hendrik Dik, the son of Jan Dik Sr., who was the restorer and salesman for Alois Miedl at the Goudstikker gallery. The period associated with this claim was 1943, but based on the documentation we found, it seems more likely that it was in February 1944, perhaps after he registered at the Nieuwendammerdijk address.
Further, we know that Miedl did not leave Amsterdam for Spain until 5 July 1944. To protect himself from arrest and deportation, Van den Bergh could have relied upon Miedl up until the time of his departure. Although, after Miedl’s departure, Van den Bergh’s level of vulnerability would have risen exponentially. If he was not in hiding between February 1944 and the time Miedl fled for Spain (early July 1944), he would have most likely sought refuge at a trusted location after Miedl left Amsterdam.
The other possibility is that Van den Bergh remained in his own house, which was now also listed as the residence of Jacques Goudstikker’s mother beginning on 27 September 1943. We can’t forget that one of the stipulations of Jacques Goudstikker agreeing to sell his collection of art and properties to Alois Miedl, was that Miedl would care for and protect his Jewish mother, who was unwilling to flee the country with him. As fully explained in Sullivan’s book, despite being married to a Jewish woman, Miedl was extremely close to the Amsterdam SD leaders and Reichsmarshal Hermann Göring. As an example of Miedl’s influence with the Nazis, Goudstikker’s mother’s personal card is miraculously void of any Jewish reference.
In the Afterword of Sullivan’s book, I mentioned that once it was published and the results of the investigation were revealed to the public, relevant information may surface to help us fill in the missing pieces to the puzzle. This has actually happened! We are now assessing a written witness statement from a diary indicating that, in February 1945, Arnold van den Bergh and his wife were staying with his twin daughters “in the country.” The entry also mentions that this information was told to the writer by one of the Van den Bergh twins while she was in Amsterdam on 16 February 1945, at a time when Amsterdam was still under occupation.
During our investigation, we received information that the twins were in hiding in Scharwoude, a small town 41 kilometers north of Amsterdam. This area could be consistent with the statement quoted in the diary “in the country.” The twin’s statement is an indication that at least in February 1945, Van den Bergh and his wife were staying in Scharwoude.
As with any new information that surfaces, we have so many questions. If the Van den Bergh’s were indeed “in hiding” is it likely that one of the twins would be freely visiting people in Amsterdam while it was still under Nazi control? How could she freely travel from the country to an address near her parent’s home on Oranje Nassaulaan? The trip would have been quite risky and could only have been accomplished by bicycle or walking since there was a national train strike at this time. This visit was at the height of the “hunger winter” when many people were leaving Amsterdam and going to the countryside looking for food, not the other way around. There are many questions to answer, and the Cold Case Team continues to investigate and is succeeding in finding and assessing new information.
3. Van den Bergh went into hiding which negates the Cold Case Team’s theory of what happened.
Whether Van den Bergh was in hiding or just laying low, this does not affect our theory. As some people have opined, it is entirely possible that at some point after he lost his Calmeyer status and Miedl fled for Spain (in July 1944), Van den Bergh utilized his wealth to find a location to hide until the war ended.
If he did go into hiding, that did not make him any less vulnerable and it has no impact on the validity of the theory. People in hiding were always a target to both active V-people and Dutch police officers that were seeking to pad their wallets with Kopgeld or any other valuables that could be offered. If one had something that the SD wanted, certain exceptions could be made. Miedl’s situation was a prime example of this.
4. Some experts have inferred that the Cold Case Team claimed that Van den Bergh provided the lists to allow him to live in the open.
The Cold Case Team never made such a claim. As indicated above, there is uncertainty if and/or when Van den Bergh and his wife went into hiding. We did say that at some point he provided lists to gain favor with the Nazis and/or avoid arrest and deportation.
5. Several claims have been made that the lists of addresses where Jews were hiding never existed. One expert made a statement that we only had one witness that said that the lists of addresses existed.
The Cold Case Team did not solely rely on one witness as corroboration that lists of hiding addresses were possessed by people within the Jewish Council. We found several documented instances. However, I would like to point out that in many countries, it sometimes only requires one witness to achieve a conviction in a criminal case.
The witness must receive scrutiny to determine if their testimony is worthy of belief and reliable. The criteria by which the witness must be assessed include a conflict of interest, motive, consistency, and previous conduct. It is also important to determine the witness’s strength of memory, meaning how long after the event was the testimony given, possible interferences of the witness’s memory since the actual event occurred, and the witness’s cognitive abilities. It is also important to find out whether the witness’s testimony could be supported by other facts within the case?
The Cold Case Team evaluated the 1947 testimony of Ernst Philip Henn, a former German translator in the Feldgericht (military court). Henn’s testimony indicated that he overheard a conversation between a sergeant of the Feldgendarmerie and Gerichtsassessor that someone from the Jewish Council turned over to the SD lists of addresses where Jews were hiding. Considering the circumstances in which he testified, the time elapsed since the event, combined with his previous conduct, we concluded that he was a credible source of information without any apparent conflict of interest. We could find nothing indicating that he was promised something in return for his testimony.
We continued our investigation looking for additional information that the lists existed. One piece of corroborating evidence was the anonymous note Otto Frank claimed he received shortly after liberation – the note which names Van den Bergh as doing so.
With the fact that two unrelated statements (from Henn and the anonymous note writer) claimed that addresses were turned over to the SD, we feel we have established a strong foundation for the statement such lists (1) did exist and (2) were indeed turned over to the SD.
But the Cold Case Team uncovered additional proof that such lists existed and were tied to people involved within the Jewish Council. Rudolf Pollak was an employee of the Jewish Council, and part of his role was to distribute food coupons to prisoners in Westerbork and the Hollandsche Schouwburg. He also kept a card catalog with addresses of Jewish hiding places. The question remains as to how he obtained these lists and, if he had such a list, why others could not have such lists too? In March 1944, the SD arrested him, and under pressure, he immediately buckled. He gave up his card catalog and became a V-Man for the SD; he was eventually targeted and killed by the Dutch resistance in November or December 1944.
Another example of proof that the address lists existed was found when we examined the workings of the Contact Committee (Contact Commissie) at Camp Westerbork, a group that acted as a liaison between the camp and the Jewish Council and was staffed by people who were Jewish. In a postwar criminal investigation of the Contact Committee, it was reported that in May 1944, camp commandant, Albert Gemmeker, ordered the Contact Committee members to reach out to Jews in hiding in Amsterdam and elsewhere to offer them the possibility of buying their freedom from criminal charges if they would turn themselves in. Evidently, the members of the Contact Committee had access to lists of addresses where Jews were hiding, in order for them to present Gemmeker’s offer.
Our team and all those supportive of our work are looking forward to the correction of the aforementioned misstatements. Additional criticisms and misstatements will be addressed in Part 2 of this rebuttal.
Director of Investigation – Cold Case Team
Wednesday 9 February 2022
Director of Investigation’s Rebuttal Statement
Even though I was shocked at the disparaging remarks put forth by critics of our investigation, I sat back and patiently waited for them to have their say, which is now memorialized in the media. I was equally dismayed that some members of the press chose not to challenge the critics’ positions or ask any of my Dutch colleagues or myself for rebuttals.With the press seemingly only presenting one side of a story, an argument can be easily won in the court of public opinion.It is now time for me to respond and set the record straight.
Understandably, the criticisms are, for the most part, based in the Netherlands, a country whose people I have grown to love and respect. With the story of Anne Frank being woven into the fabric of Dutch society, I realized when we started that extra care would need to be taken to protect her memory and the legacy that her father, Otto, worked the remainder of his life to preserve. Outside of the Netherlands, the attitude toward Rosemary Sullivan’s book, The Betrayal of Anne Frank, is quite different from people who have read the book, with constant congratulatory comments on both the book and the theory received every day.
My family has a long history of public service, many either were or still are, employed as public servants, including members of the U.S. military, police officers, and firefighters. At a young age, my father joined the US Army to lay down his life in the effort to fight against the Nazis. In the book, The Betrayal of Anne Frank, author Rosemary Sullivan describes the story of how my father’s unit liberated a small Jewish camp outside of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.My father was only 21 years of age at the time this occurred.Even in his later years when some details of his memories of the war were fading, his recollection of the prisoners and camp conditions left an indelible mark on his memory, and also mine after seeing how it affected him. This was one of the main reasons I agreed to work on this case.
Most law enforcement officers will tell you that by the end of their career they become cynical and untrusting due to constantly witnessing the evil of this world. Despite this, I entered this project not hating the world but seeking to do good by letting family members of Holocaust victims and survivors know that someone still cared about finding the answer to the betrayals.
I feel that despite the unjust criticisms, this was accomplished. During my 35 years as a career law enforcement officer, I have acquired tough skin to repel hate speech and criticism. I have no issue with someone who has read the book disagreeing with who we feel is the most likely suspect.Where I do take exception is how some of the critics have voiced their opinions without substantiation, other than claiming to be a scholar or an expert.I will address many of these criticisms in the paragraphs that follow.
Attacked for presenting a theory
After we announced this project in 2017, there was great enthusiasm that the world may finally have an answer as to what caused the raid. So many people wanted to help, and we received unprecedented cooperation from almost every archive and institution that we approached.Subject matter experts were quite eager to share their knowledge and lend their name to our endeavor as consultants to the team. At the time, the only criticism I can recall were questions about why we picked the Anne Frank case rather than any other unsolved betrayal.To this, we responded that Anne is a symbol of the children of the Holocaust. Solving the mystery of who was responsible for her raid, would represent justice for all Holocaust victims, both young and old.
So what has changed from then until now? The only difference is that we arrived at a conclusion that everyone should have realized was a distinct possibility, that during the time of Nazi occupation, Jews were forced to turn against one another. This first began with the Nazis ordering the formation of a Jewish Council and ordering them to select who was next to report to the camps. It eventually evolved into the forced collaboration of Jews to hunt for those who went into hiding.Controlled by the SD detectives, the compelled actions of the Jewish informants would result in the lining of the detectives’ pockets with Kopgeld, starting at 7.5 guilders for every Jew that was captured.
I was prepared for some pushback on a new theory being presented by outsiders to the subject matter, but nothing like we have experienced.I recall reading of only some slightly negative feedback received by an author that found undiscovered information and offered a new theory. Over the years, there have been many authors and historians that weighed in with their version of what caused the raid, naming suspects such as W. Van Maaren, Lena Hartog, Tony Ahlers, Nelly Voskuijl, Ans van Dijk, and Opekta/Gies & Co. salesmen Brouwer and Daatzelaar.Although there was an occasional critic expressing skepticism regarding some of their theories, none ever received the venomous attack that our theory has received.
I want to be sure to set the record straight that I admire and respect all of the authors and historians who were brave enough to venture an attempt to solve the mystery of what caused the raid.
One must ask, why have none of the other theories received the vitriolic response that ours did?Was it because ours identified someone Jewish, despite us describing him as a victim?What about the theory in a book released just a few years ago identifying Ans van Dijk as the betrayer?She was Jewish. I don’t recall a full-out media attack on the author about his theory. For some reason, there seems to be a bit of a double standard when applying judgment in our case.
The most interesting thing to me as an investigator is the fact that not one of these previous theories (except the original Van Maaren theory) was ever originated by a witness (named or unnamed) identifying the betrayer.In other words, it was the author of these theories that first published the names and accused them of betrayal. Again, I ask, where was the outcry of dragging the accused suspects’ names through the mud by the originators of these theories?Yet more evidence of an extreme double standard.
We did examine each one of their theories and based on a law enforcement model of evaluation, none were plausible as ours.Most of the theories were entirely based on circumstantial assumptions that lacked precedent or cohesion.At least in our theory, there is a pattern of evidence, backed by witness statements, and a copy of a piece of physical evidence presented to the 1963/1964 detective by Otto Frank himself. The physical evidence was an anonymous note, the existence of which Otto safeguarded from public view for over 19 years. This is all clearly outlined in the book.
Criticism:The theory publicly accused Arnold Van den Bergh
One of the false narratives put forth by some critics is that we accused Arnold van den Bergh of betraying the Annex address, effectively dragging his name through the mud. In actuality, it was the author of the anonymous note that made the allegation, not the Cold Case Team. If these critics would have actually read Rosemary’s book before expressing their criticisms, they would have realized that we were merely the first to conduct due diligence and research the note writer’s allegation. Interestingly enough, many of these criticisms surfaced BEFORE the book was even released.
We first became aware of the anonymous note when examining Detective Van Helden’s 1964 summary report, in which he described Otto Frank informing him about receiving a note shortly after liberation identifying their betrayer. Detective Van Helden indicated that he conducted inquiries about A. Van den Bergh, but noted that “from assimilated intelligence, I gathered that the integrity of this man need not be called into question,” and did not pursue the allegation any further. This report is a public document accessible by anyone who wanted to review it. In fact, the 1964 summary report copy we worked from was given to us by a well-known historian who has himself researched the Annex mystery and put forth a theory of his own.One must ask why this historian never questioned and researched what the anonymous note said.
Additionally, the text of the anonymous note containing the name A. van den Bergh was, in later years, published by other authors and also by a different Dutch historian, when considering their own betrayal theories. What the Cold Case Team did was recognize that due diligence in the vetting of the anonymous note writer’s allegation was never performed. One of the primary principles of cold case methodology is that you never accept previous findings, you must question everything.I have been informed that in a recent radio interview, the same Dutch historian was asked why he never followed up on the note’s allegation.His answer was that he accepted the findings of the Dutch detective from the 1963/64 investigation.
Finally, we must remember that Arnold van den Bergh’s name was already publicly identified in the Jewish Honor Court verdict, that he and other Jewish Council board members were found guilty of acts that would be considered as cooperation with the Nazis. This was published in the Nieuw Israelitisch Weekblad Publicatie on 21 May 1948.
Accusations of antisemitism for revealing the conclusion of the cold case investigation
It is clear that the people making these comments have never read Rosemary’s book.As I was quoted in the Afterward which I wrote for the book, “For me, it has been an honor and privilege to play some small part in reminding the world that the victims of the Annex and other Jews who were betrayed have not been forgotten.”I wish to inform the people accusing me of antisemitism that many Jewish people are part of my life as friends, co-workers, and relatives, the closest of which is my son-in-law, his family, and my granddaughter. I have the utmost respect for members of the Jewish community. To say I am antisemitic is obviously against everything that my family and I stand for.
I read one comment which suggested that once we realized that Van den Bergh was Jewish, we should have never released our findings for fear of it creating more antisemitism. To this, I answer that we did struggle with what to do, but the words of the Rabbi that the team consulted regarding the possibility of the betrayer being Jewish echoed in our ears, “the only thing that matters is the truth.”Through one caustic headline, a tabloid chose to portray our theory as antisemitic, which is not reflective of how Rosemary’s book or the team has presented it.Quite the contrary, we clearly accuse the Nazi occupiers as those who were in the wrong. Anyone taking the time to read the book would realize this. I fear that the attempts to question the integrity of her book and our theory will actually serve to fuel antisemitism.
Another comment was that our investigation’s results have brought harm to the memory of Anne and Otto. To that I ask, what would you have wanted us to do…hide it? Concealing our conclusion was never an option since doing so would have compromised the integrity of the investigation and made it appear as though we were covering something up.Something that, if discovered by neo-Nazis or antisemites, would have only exacerbated the hate rhetoric.
Throughout the investigation, we have maintained close relationships with various Jewish museums, institutions, organizations, prominent Jewish figures, and the religious community, in an effort to enrich our understanding of the Holocaust.When it became clear to us that the most likely scenario that caused the raid involved a Jewish man, we knew that this would create controversy.Rosemary took extraordinary steps in her writing, as we have done in press interviews, to explain that Van den Bergh was a victim of the Nazis and not to be judged.The Nazis’ diabolical plan of turning Jews into collaborators to assist in the hunt for those who were in hiding will go down as one of the evilest acts in the annals of history.
Criticism: Based on the CBS news program and the book, the investigation was not thorough
It seemed quite odd that critical rumblings started shortly after the 60 Minutes segment aired and were in full swing two days later when the book was released. The producers of the 60 Minutes news program and Rosemary Sullivan in her book, faced the extraordinarily difficult task of telling the story of the Annex raid, the Holocaust, WWII in the Netherlands, the SD, and our investigation.I, and most people around the world, feel they did an extraordinary job in the allotted 18 minutes of airtime and 300 + pages respectively.What critics fail to comprehend is that neither of their exceptional works is the extent of our investigation.The breadth of our six-year investigation could never be comprehensively covered in a television news program or even a book with thousands of pages.It is inherently unfair to judge the extent of our investigation based on the television segment or book alone.
Criticism:The Investigation Was Not Scientific Research.
Hearing and reading comments from journalists and scholars that our investigation was poorly executed and invalid since it was not a scientific study, only shows their lack of understanding of how law enforcement investigations, especially cold cases are conducted.There is a difference between a scientific study and a law enforcement model of investigation, and I encourage the reader to consult the comparison between the two methods that are detailed on this site in our initial rebuttal.There are, however, many elements of science and technology that were utilized in our investigation.
Investigators approach and see things differently than scholars or historians.A prime example of this came during my first visit to the AFH in 2017.There has always been a debate as to whether the Annex raid team of Dutch SD IVB4 (Jewish unit) detectives and SD man Karl Silberbauer went directly to the moveable bookcase concealing the hidden door to the Annex.If this was accurate, it would have possibly pointed to one of the helpers or the few others that knew of the concealment, as the source of betrayal. During my visit, I was lucky enough to be escorted by one of the AFH’s longtime historians, whom I consider to be the preeminent expert on the history of Anne Frank and the Annex. As soon as I entered the room containing the bookcase, I noticed a “witness mark” on the floor in the shape of an arc, clearly made by the opening and closing of the bookcase.Upon examining the underside of the bookcase, I could see a supporting wheel on the non-hinge side that helper, Johan Voskuijl, installed when he designed and constructed it.From my perspective as an investigator, this obvious mark meant that the seasoned Dutch SD detectives who entered this room did not need prior knowledge that the bookcase concealed the hidden door. The witness marks clearly gave it away and thus, in part, added doubt that the raid team knew exactly where they were going before they even entered the room. When I pointed this out to the historian, he commented that although working there for years, he never noticed this mark or put it into this context.Note – Although the flooring during my visit was not the original material, this witness mark was confirmed to be visible on vintage photos of the room with the original floors intact.The bookcase is now permanently secured in an open position, but the supporting wheel is still visible by looking under its right side.
Criticism:The theory is invalid because it is based on circumstantial evidence
Most cases contain some form of circumstantial evidence. Just because the evidence is circumstantial, does not negate its validity. If we would eliminate the admission of circumstantial evidence from the court systems, there would be relatively few criminal cases ever resolved.
Our theory is based on circumstantial evidence rather than direct evidence. For the benefit of the reader, the difference between the two is:
Evidence may be direct or circumstantial. Direct evidence is direct proof of a fact, such as testimony by a witness about what that witness personally saw or heard or did. Circumstantial evidence is indirect evidence, meaning, it is proof of one or more facts which, when combined, form a theory to explain the circumstances.
When beginning the investigation, I had doubts that we would ever find direct evidence since at the time, 72 years had passed since the raid occurred.At this point, we were fairly certain that no witnesses were alive who could identify who or what caused the raid. After eliminating other suspects and theories based on investigative criteria, we were left with several suspects whom we couldn’t eliminate, but also couldn’t prove as responsible. My team methodically identified individual pieces of evidence that when assembled, gave us the clear opinion that only one of the remaining suspects was the most likely cause of the raid.
Like clever defense attorneys, critics have taken the approach to attack our theory’s evidence piece by piece rather than looking at the collective body of evidence and how it fits together.It is important for the scholars to understand that a circumstantial case is built on the sum of the evidence, not on one piece alone. If I would present you with one piece of a picture puzzle and ask what the puzzle is about, you could not possibly know.Now, if I would present you with 20 pieces of the puzzle and show you how they fit together to form a partial image, the picture begins to become clear. Just like the puzzle pieces, circumstantial cases must be presented in a manner to show how the evidence all fits together. This allows the investigator or prosecutor to tell the story of how they feel the crime occurred.Defense attorneys always try to shift the focus to one single piece of evidence and attempt to discredit its value. In a courtroom setting, the prosecutor must constantly remind the judge or jury of how the interconnected pieces come together to form the theory. This is why circumstantial cases often take extraordinary effort to prove their point rather than simply presenting DNA results or a videotape as evidence.
Criticism: The investigation was nothing more than a con and a money grab
I will leave the rebuttal of the absurd comments regarding the investigation being nothing but a money grab and a con-game to the administrative members of the Proditione team.The source of the research funding is clearly detailed in Rosemary Sullivan’s book for all to see. However, I can tell you from personal knowledge that the team’s expenditures were very frugal. Anyone who took the time to read Rosemary’s book would know the massive endeavor that we undertook, including traveling to seven different countries to examine archival records, interview witnesses, and consult with forensic experts.I know that prior to the team having a budget, I personally paid my expenses for multiple trips to Amsterdam, the US Archives in Washington D.C, and witness interviews in the US.And for nearly two years, Proditione maintained an office where the team could assemble to work, meetings could be held, records could be stored, and witnesses could be interviewed.This all takes money to operate and the Proditione team did their best to fund a full-time team for a period of one year.If you have never put an effort together such as ours, then you have no foundation on which to judge what Proditione was able to accomplish.
Criticism:Team Consultants never gave consent for their name to be used when describing the investigation
I have also read and heard about a few consultants to our team now claiming that they were not actually consultants or had little to no contact with us.The truth is that these individuals either asked for or provided permission for, their names to be added to the Cold Case Diary website, which displayed their names for nearly four years without any negative reaction from them. In 2017, when our investigation was first announced to the public, several of them actually provided comments which appeared in press articles regarding their role in the investigation, indicating that the investigation was such an impressive and important endeavor. My message to these individuals is that they should consider retracting their claims since we have preserved every email and documented every meeting, including any records that they provided to the team.I considered them friends and colleagues up until this point and hope that they will make the retractions. I realize that they, like anyone else associated with the team, have faced unfair pressure during the onslaught of negative remarks, but it is important to set the record straight.To the team’s consultants that have stood by us during this onslaught of criticism, you are true professionals and eternally have my utmost respect.
As I previously mentioned, our investigation to solve the mystery was lauded and encouraged when it was initially launched, and that support continued right up until the time that the results were found to be something other than what some people wanted to hear.Did anyone really think that there would be a celebration for the findings?On the contrary, we became quite sad that this would be our conclusion.Considering this, we tried our best to be respectful and non-judgmental when presenting our theory.We have encouraged people before they begin to judge, to consider “what would they do” if placed into the same, unimaginable position that many, many Jews found themselves in during the Holocaust.And to NEVER forget that it was Hitler and the Nazi regime that ultimately led to the death of the six million Jews.
These criticisms have been unfair to the team’s cadre of researchers who are hearing and reading comments that the investigation was nothing more than a media exercise.Our researchers were a very diverse group coming from educational disciplines such as history, criminology, language studies, data scientists, gender studies, documentation, and mostly comprised of brilliant students and graduates with advanced degrees.We also had researchers who volunteered their time such as a teacher and a retired grandmother who did so because they believed in the goal of the project.I witnessed the dedication of each and every team member putting their heart and soul into their work and now having to endure reading and hearing such caustic comments.I am proud to say that most of the student researchers have gone on to graduate and obtain jobs at revered institutions, continuing to put their skills to work preserving history and making it accessible for future generations. I am honored and fortunate to have gotten to know and work with each one of them.In my opinion, these researchers deserve an apology from the people making these unjustified remarks. They are truly the unsung heroes of the investigation.The press made it far too easy for these critics to hide behind their titles and throw baseless accusations at everyone involved.
Ignored Historical Findings
Beyond our investigative theory of the most likely cause of the raid, the cold case team had many other accomplishments that our critics have selectively chosen to ignore.One example of this is, despite being told by several “experts” that many of the SD records from this time period were destroyed by bombings or the retreating Nazis, the team diligently set out to confirm this claim.As the book explains in Chapter 17, we were fortunate enough to find copies of over 950 Kopgeld receipts in the files of the US National Archives, Captured Nazi Records Collection.
Shortly after the book was released, I was interviewed by an American freelance journalist based in the Netherlands, who was writing an article for a major US newspaper, and I raised the topic of the Kopgeld receipts and their value to history.I mentioned that the receipts we found reveal a great deal about the Nazis’ diabolical reward program, including who collected the bounty, how much was paid, and the people who were targeted (e.g., Jews, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Communists, etc.)My statement was met with a sarcastic reply that this was not a big deal, everything is already known about Kopgelds as had previously been put forth in a book by Ad van Liempt.There was an awkward pause when I politely informed the journalist that we had immediately reported to Mr. Van Liempt about our findings.When he heard about our Kopgeld discovery, he was very excited because only a few of these receipts were previously known to exist. As expected, based on the condescending tone of the entire interview, the article was very critical of our investigation and was lacking the facts I presented.This “journalist” had also admitted they had not even finished reading the book. But perhaps the most interesting fact is the one “little” piece of information that I found out after my interview.Apparently, this journalist had approached Proditione asking for consideration to be the author of the book about our investigation, ultimately losing the assignment in favor of Rosemary Sullivan. This is a clear conflict of interest from a journalistic perspective and the documented proof of this will be forwarded to the paper’s Editor-in-Chief for appropriate action.Quoting from the paper’s own handbook on ethical journalism: “Our contracts with freelance contributors require them to avoid conflicts of interest, real or apparent.”
I am hoping that my rebuttal to the most common criticisms the team has experienced will counter the scholars, experts, and journalists making them, thus acknowledging, rather than concealing, the fact that the Nazis forced good people to do the unthinkable.We should now direct the conversation about the theory and our other discoveries into a more professional and productive tone.I would hope true journalists will take the time and effort to not only listen to the facts and details of our investigation but then to accurately present them to their audiences.Our message from the very beginning of our investigation was, and always will be, had it not been for the Nazi occupiers, none of this would have happened.
Director of Investigation
Cold Case Team
Monday 7 February 2022
It was a privilege to be invited by HarperCollins to write the story of the Cold Case investigation into the betrayal of Anne Frank led by retired FBI special investigator Vince Pankoke and head of research Pieter van Twisk. The investigation was professional, thorough, and lasted six years. In my opinion, The Betrayal of Anne Frank offers a compelling portrait of life under the Nazis’ genocidal regime when individuals lived in fear and hunger, not knowing whom to trust, and were faced daily with what the historian Anne Applebaum called choiceless choices in their effort to save themselves and their families.
Donderdag 3 februari 2022
Wij zijn erg geschrokken van de manier waarop ons onderzoeksproject en het boek van schrijfster Rosemary Sullivan dat hierover is gepubliceerd- ontvangen is. We betreuren de negatieve reacties die we soms goed kunnen begrijpen vanuit het besef dat onze maatschappij nog altijd een diepgeworteld verlies en trauma voelt, waar het de geschiedenis van de Holocaust betreft. Daar past ons ook niets dan respect, begrip en medeleven. Daarom hechten wij er sterk aan om nog eens duidelijk uit te leggen hoe en waarom we dit project hebben ondernomen, en vooral, hoe het onderzoek tot zijn conclusies is gekomen.
Medio oktober 2017 hebben wij in de publiciteit gebracht dat we een Cold Case zouden uitvoeren met als centrale vraag: wat leidde tot de inval in het Achterhuis op 4 augustus 1944. Meteen is daarbij duidelijk gemaakt dat het onderzoek onder leiding zou staan van de gepensioneerde FBI-rechercheur Vince Pankoke. Daarmee maakten wij duidelijk dat we uitdrukkelijk niet kozen voor een historisch wetenschappelijke benadering, maar een opsporings benadering. Opsporingswerk omvat een grondig en systematisch onderzoek naar iets specifieks. De focus van de onderzoeker is om een specifieke zaak op te lossen en niet om bij te dragen aan de wetenschap. Er wordt informatie verzameld en verschillende mogelijke scenario’s worden onderzocht en daar waar mogelijk gefalsificeerd. Dit is precies wat er in ons onderzoek gebeurde; zo’n dertig scenario’s waarvan er enkelen overbleven die vooralsnog mogelijk of geloofwaardig bleken en slechts één die het predicaat ‘meest waarschijnlijk’ kreeg; het Van den Bergh scenario. Om het onderzoek langs een wetenschappelijke meetlat te leggen en op die grond te veroordelen is dus onjuist. Het onderzoek, en de manier waarop de uitkomst is beargumenteerd, moet worden begrepen in het kader van deze aanpak.
Dan de inhoudelijke kritiek. Kort gezegd komt deze neer op een aantal punten culminerend in de mening dat wij op grond van zo weinig bewijs niet iemand hadden mogen beschuldigen van verraad. Immers, diens naam zou nu voor altijd de geschiedenis ingaan als de verrader van Anne Frank. Een begrijpelijke kritiek die echter niet opgaat, omdat wij Van den Bergh niet beschuldigden, dat deed de schrijver van het anonieme briefje. Wij stelden steeds opnieuw, zowel in het boek als in de vele interviews, dat wij hem in ons onderzoek zijn gaan beschouwen als hoofdverdachte in het meest waarschijnlijke scenario en niet als dader.
Wij brachten zijn naam ook niet als eersten naar buiten. Op meerdere websites wordt zijn naam genoemd als mogelijke verdachte met daarin een verwijzing naar het briefje. In boekvorm was het Carol Ann Lee die in The Hidden Life of Otto Frank (2003) het briefje met de beschuldiging alsook de daaraan verbonden naam noemde. In hetzelfde jaar verscheen ook Wie Verraadde Anne Frank? van Gerrold van der Stroom en David Barnouw en hierin wordt Van den Bergh ook genoemd als verdachte. Hij wordt echter meteen vrijgepleit en wel zonder enige vorm van onderzoek. Wij namen daar uiteraard geen genoegen mee. In een cold case ga je terug naar de bronnen en neem je niets als vanzelfsprekend aan.
Natuurlijk ligt het noemen van een naam gevoelig. In 1998 noemt Melissa Muller de schoonmaakster Lena Hartog – Van Bladeren als mogelijke verrader. In 2003 wijst Carol Ann Lee naar Tony Ahlers en zo’n tien jaar later wijzen beschuldigende vingers richting Nelly Voskuijl, de zus van helpster Bep. Allemaal onbekenden. Van publieke boosheid over het naar buiten brengen van deze namen was toen geen sprake. Het bleef stil, niemand had er kennelijk een probleem mee; dat heet selectieve verontwaardiging.
En dan komen we bij de meest gehoorde kritiekpunten die steeds opnieuw worden herhaald. Opmerkelijk hierbij is dat men steeds één afzonderlijk onderdeel uit de gehele bewijslast trekt om dan te concluderen dat het bewijs flinterdun is. We hebben vaker de metafoor van de puzzel gebruikt; we verzamelden zoveel stukjes puzzel dat de beeltenis op de puzzel steeds duidelijker werd. Wat de critici doen, is steeds één stukje nemen om op grond daarvan te concluderen dat dat onvoldoende bewijs is voor onze conclusie. De kracht van de aanklacht schuilt hem nu juist in het totale pakket, in het beeld dat alle puzzelstukjes bij elkaar geeft. De inhoud van het briefje, de plaats en de tijd waarop het werd bezorgd, de vele getuigenverklaringen over het bestaan van lijsten met onderduikers, de verklaringen en het gedrag van Otto Frank en de helpers, het gedrag van Van den Bergh en de algehele context van een land in oorlog, geknecht door een antisemitische ideologie die mensen uitsluit, vervolgt, tegen elkaar opzet en uiteindelijk vernietigt etc. etc. Dat alles tezamen geeft een gerede grond voor verdenking.
- Het anonieme briefje
Had niet iedereen dit briefje kunnen schrijven?
- Was het eind jaren ’50 geweest dan is het veel waarschijnlijker dat wildvreemde mensen een dergelijke actie gepleegd kunnen hebben, immers het dagboek van Anne Frank is dan al heel bekend. Maar 1945, vlak na de bevrijding? De onderduikers aan Prinsengracht 263, waren slechts acht van de duizenden joden die in onderduik waren opgepakt. Het is daarom aannemelijk dat de schrijver van het briefje van de onderduik op de hoogte moet zijn geweest.
Hoe we weten dat het vlak na de bevrijding werd bezorgd?
- Omdat Otto Frank dit verklaart in het politieonderzoek van 1963/’64. En ook omdat hij in december 1945 rechercheur Gringhuis confronteert met het briefje en de naam Van den Bergh. Hij zegt hierover niets tegen zijn helpers, waarvan nota bene twee (Kugler en Kleiman) zelf ook slachtoffer zijn van de inval. Waarom niet? Voor iedere opsporingsprofessional is dat een red flag.
Over de anonieme schrijver
- Hoe groot is de kans dat iemand die Van den Bergh wil schaden (of uit is op wraak) uitgerekend een adres kiest waar inderdaad joodse families ondergedoken hebben gezeten? Tenzij hij/zij willekeurig duizenden briefjes is gaan verspreiden, is deze kans astronomisch klein. Veel groter is de kans dat de briefschrijver weet heeft gehad van dit adres als zijnde een adres dat op een lijst heeft gestaan die is doorgegeven aan de SD. Ook moet de anonieme opsteller van het briefje geweten hebben dat Van den Bergh niet was gedeporteerd, immers, was hij gedeporteerd geweest dan was hij nooit in staat geweest om een lijst met adressen door te spelen. Met andere woorden, als de beschuldiging in het briefje niet klopt, dan zou de afzender iemand moeten zijn geweest die beschikte over nogal wat informatie waardoor het briefje ook daadwerkelijk zijn uitwerking zou hebben. Meer voor de hand liggend is dus dat het briefje inderdaad werd geschreven door iemand die wist waarover hij of zij sprak.
Tijdens het onderzoek komen we inderdaad tegen dat mensen elkaar indertijd (ten onrechte) beschuldigden, maar ze deden dan bij de Politieke Opsporings Dienst (POD), die daarvoor het aangewezen orgaan was. De POD kon ook sancties nemen. Gewoon een briefje in de bus doen bij de volslagen onbekende Otto Frank was wel de minst effectieve manier -en daarom dus ook niet geloofwaardig- om Van den Bergh in kwaad daglicht te stellen.
- Het bestaan van de lijsten met onderduikadressen
Het Cold Case Team heeft diverse aanwijzingen gevonden voor het bestaan van lijsten met onderduikadressen binnen de Joodse Raad. Dat wil uiteraard niet zeggen dat het verzamelen van deze adressen beleid was binnen de raad. Maar wij hebben reden om te denken dat individuen in de Joodse Raad of werkzaam voor de Joodse Raad dat wel deden.
- We hebben hiervoor de verklaring van vier heren van de Contact Afdeling in Westerbork (Hannauer, Eckmann, Heinemann en Grünberg). Deze afdeling was eerder een vertegenwoordigend orgaan van de Joodse Raad in Westerbork. Eerder werd deze afdeling aangestuurd door de zakenpartner van Van den Bergh, de notaris Eduard Spier. In een naoorlogse politieverklaring waren de vier heren naar eigen zeggen bezig met het benaderen van Joden in onderduik om deze de mogelijkheid te bieden zichzelf vrij te kopen. Hoe konden ze dat doen zonder onderduikadressen?
- Daarnaast troffen wij twee getuigen die onafhankelijk van elkaar verklaren dat er onderduiklijsten zijn overgedragen vanuit de Joodse Raad naar de SD. De eerste is die van de joodse V-Frau Ans van Dijk, die na de oorlog als enige vrouw werd geëxecuteerd. Waarschijnlijk niet een hele betrouwbare getuige, maar je kunt je afvragen of deze ‘leugen’ haar nu zo veel opleverde. Ans van Dijk was tijdens haar proces erg ‘vergeetachtig’, maar niet per se ‘leugenachtig’.
- En dan is daar de verklaring van Ernst Henn, een tolk werkzaam voor de Luftgau in Amsterdam. Hij hoort twee officieren praten over een lijst met 500 tot 1.000 namen van ondergedoken joden die ze hadden ontvangen van iemand in de Joodse Raad. De ronduit spottende opmerking van een van de officieren is hierbij veelzeggend. “De leden van de Joodse Raad meenden kennelijk dat “hoe meer adressen ze doorgaven, hoe toegefelijker wij zullen zijn”. Henn is geen verdachte in deze zaak, hij is getuige. Hij was geen rabiate Nazi of antisemiet en had verder niets te winnen bij deze getuigenis die hij vrijwillig aflegde.
- Ook troffen wij de kwestie van Rudolf Pollak, die werkte voor de Joodse Raad en die een hele kaartenbak had met onderduikadressen en die in maart 1944 tegen de lamp loopt.
- Tot slot is er dan nog Jodenjager Eduard Moesbergen. In zijn CABR-dossier (554 PRA Asd: 60678) zijn getuigenverklaringen opgenomen van zijn eigen informanten (Bernhard Joseph en Elize Greta Hoek – De Leeuw) die beweren dat hij in 1944 rondliep met een lijst onderduikadressen en dat zij niet wisten hoe hij aan die lijst kwam. Volgens deze informanten waren de lijsten oud en op veel adressen waar ze langsgingen waren de ondergedoken Joden inmiddels verdwenen. Maar niet op alle… De mensen in het Achterhuis zaten al meer dan twee jaar op dezelfde plek. Evenals overigens de bewoners van Het Hoge Nest in Naarden… ook een van de invallen van Moesbergen. Het is dezelfde Moesbergen die Van den Bergh zegt te kennen. Om aan te geven dat-ie heus zo’n slechte nog niet was geeft ie in een naoorlogse verklaring aan dat hij uit ongerustheid over het welzijn van Van den Bergh naar diens huis is gegaan om hem te waarschuwen dat zijn Calmeyer status was vervallen. Volgens Moesbergen was Van den Bergh toen al ondergedoken.
Wanneer je al deze aanwijzingen bij elkaar legt kun je (vanuit opsporingsperspectief) niet langer bij het ontwikkelen van de ‘scenario’s’ ervan uitgaan dat de lijsten er niet waren of er niet hebben kunnen zijn. Er zijn simpelweg te veel aanwijzingen dat er informatie over onderduikadressen uitgewisseld werd (ook voortgebracht uit eerder opsporingsonderzoek).
- Van den Bergh zat ondergedoken
Een ander veelgehoord argument is dat Van den Berg ondergedoken zat en dat dat hem zou vrijpleiten. In het onderzoek (en het boek) stellen wij dat Van der Bergh niet ondergedoken zat op het adres dat hij zelf aangaf te zitten, maar niet dat hij niet ondergedoken zat. Sterker nog, we weten ook waar hij tijdelijk ondergedoken heeft gezeten maar (vermoedelijk) begin 1944 verdwijnt hij van de radar. Dat hij in Laren ondergedoken zat (iets dat wordt gesuggereerd) is goed mogelijk en we hebben dat ook onderzocht, maar konden hiervan geen bevestiging vinden. Maar vanuit forensisch oogpunt moeten we vaststellen dat zijn eventuele onderduik hem niet vrijpleit. Sterker, het is zelfs zeer goed denkbaar dat hij op zeker moment, vlak voor of tijdens zijn onderduik, onder druk is gezet en daarom gedwongen werd mee te werken. Dit was de gebruikelijke modus operandi van veel Jodenjagers; als je iets te bieden had, kon je mogelijk de dans ontspringen
In de presentatie van ons onderzoek is in de media vaak veel te stellig beweerd dat de verrader nu is gevonden. Dat is -zoals men kan lezen in het boek- niet de conclusie van dit onderzoek.
Terugkijkend was het van onze kant erg onverstandig om het waarschijnlijkheidspercentage van 85% in de media te noemen. Dit wekte ten onrechte de indruk dat het hier om ‘85% zekerheid’ zou gaan.
Aan het einde van ons onderzoek kregen wij het advies van een prominente cold case onderzoeker van de politie om onze bewijslast te laten wegen door een externe deskundige. Hiervoor maakt de politie vaak gebruik van forensisch statistici die het gepresenteerde feitenmateriaal als het ware wegen. Op grond van onze input berekend de statisticus wat de conclusie zou kunnen zijn onder de aanname, c.q. de voorwaarde, dat al deze feiten en inzichten inderdaad correct zijn. Die 85% is dus een als-dit-dan-dat uitkomst. Het is dan ook geen absolute kans, maar een voorwaardelijke kans en dat is een cruciaal verschil. Omdat er in de berekening ook nog veel ‘witte plekken’ zitten kent die uitkomst bovendien een bijzonder grote marge van onzekerheid, iets wat in de publiciteit begrijpelijkerwijs onvoldoende naar voren is gekomen. Om die reden is dat percentage ook niet opgenomen in het boek en was het beter geweest om deze niet te noemen.
Het Cold Case team heeft volgens een gangbare methodiek opsporingsonderzoek onderzoek gedaan naar de vraag ‘wat heeft geleid tot de arrestatie van de onderduikers op Prinsengracht 263 op 4 augustus 1944?’. Daarbij zijn:
- 35 verdachten onderzocht
- ongeveer 30 mogelijke scenario’s onderzocht (ook andere dan verraad scenario’s)
- De bestaande theorieën zijn geïnventariseerd en opnieuw tegen het licht gehouden en onderzocht.
- Er is 6 jaar onderzoek verricht in 7 landen door een team van deskundige politiemensen, criminologen, datawetenschappers, recherche psychologen en historici ondersteund door experts die op deelgebieden advies hebben gegeven.
- 23 verdachten zijn op grond van ontlastend bewijs uit de verdachtenlijst gesorteerd.
- 3 scenario’s zijn in de verdenkingslijst geplaatst waarvan het scenario Van Den Bergh gekwalificeerd is als ‘het meest waarschijnlijk’.
- Er is een enorme hoeveelheid soms nieuwe informatie verzameld (zoals 956 kopgeldbriefjes) die uiteindelijk zal worden geschonken aan de samenleving.
Het Cold Case team staat open voor nieuwe informatie die een ander licht op de zaak kan werpen. Als nieuwe feiten onze hypothese onderuithalen, zullen wij ons laten leiden door de feiten en nemen we afstand van de huidige conclusie.
Meer dan 100 mensen hebben in de afgelopen 6 jaar hun medewerking verleend aan dit project. Mensen uit alle gelederen van de samenleving, van buurtbewoners tot aan bestuurders van grote maatschappelijke organisaties. Wij hebben gevoeld dat deze mensen dit vaak hebben gedaan vanuit de overtuiging daarmee een zinvolle bijdrage te leveren aan een maatschappelijk verantwoord en waardevol project. Die mensen willen wij verzekeren dat zij zich niet hebben vergist. Dat wij tot op de dag van vandaag onze uiterste inspanningen hebben gegeven -en zullen blijven geven- aan het brengen van de onderliggende boodschap, namelijk:
Dat we niet toe kunnen laten om groepen in deze maatschappij tegen elkaar op te zetten, zodat demonisering, antagonisme en haat weer de overhand kunnen krijgen. En dat dit onderzoek en vooral nu dit boek, de vraag op zal werpen “wat zou ik hebben gedaan?”.
Omdat we misschien wel opnieuw onder druk van verdeeldheid staan. Omdat we nooit mogen vergeten wat er ruim 80 jaar geleden gebeurd is onder omstandigheden van die verdeeldheid. En wie dat eenmaal inziet, weet dat zwijgen, wegkijken of niets doen geen optie is.
Wanneer een specifieke groep wordt vervolgd en bedreigd met een vreselijk lot dan is het niet meer dan te verwachten dat enkelen onder hen zich laten verleiden tot handelen dat wij nu, in de luxe van een vrije democratische rechtsstaat, gemakkelijk kunnen veroordelen. Dat gedrag heeft niets met hun etniciteit of religie te maken, maar alles met hun mens-zijn.
Pieter van Twisk
Woensdag 2 februari 2022
Graag willen wij reageren op de berichtgeving van Hella Rottenberg in Trouw (2 februari 2022). In het artikel ‘Coldcase-team Anne Frank gebruikte namen van deskundigen zonder hun toestemming’, worden een aantal externe experts opgevoerd die hebben meegewerkt aan het Anne Frank cold case project. De adviseurs in het artikel zeggen ‘niet te hebben geweten dat hun namen zijn gebruikt bij het aanvragen van een subsidie voor ons project’.
We schrijven najaar 2017. Het project is dan al naar buiten getreden maar staat qua organisatie nog in de kinderschoenen. Wij praten op dat moment al met verschillende mensen, waaronder de mensen aangehaald in het artikel wier kennis en expertise van waarde kan zijn voor het onderzoek. Allen is gevraagd of zij willen meewerken met het onderzoek en of wij hun naam mogen toevoegen aan het dan nog kleine team zoals destijds vermeld op onze website. Allen stemden daar mee in en waren -zonder uitzondering- enthousiast over het project. Een onderzoek met een FBI-agent en een geheel nieuwe wijze van kijken naar deze oude zaak vond men zeer interessant. Over de jaren dat het onderzoek zich uitstrekte is er ook nooit een klacht gekomen over het feit dat hun namen op onze website stonden vermeld. Wel is er een aantal keer op verzoek iets aangepast aan de functieomschrijvingen. Dat wij subsidie zouden gaan aanvragen is nooit een geheim geweest. Daar werd openlijk over gesproken. Wij waren natuurlijk bezig met de financiering van het onderzoeksproject. Dat daarbij hun namen zijn genoemd als zijnde specialisten die zich wilden committeren aan dit project kan dan ook geen verrassing zijn.
Op het moment dat Vince Pankoke zich meer op dagelijkse basis operationeel ging bemoeien met het project koos hij ervoor om de personele opzet te organiseren op een manier die beter aansloot bij een regulier cold case onderzoek. Hij heeft ervoor gekozen voor een klein toegewijd kernteam van mensen die geheel op de hoogte waren van alle onderzoeksbewegingen en actief mee rechercheerden. Daaromheen kwam de schil van zogenaamde ‘Subject Matter Experts’ (SME’s). Deze mensen werden ingezet als adviseurs (consultants) op specifieke deelgebieden. De in het artikel genoemde personen behoorden allen tot de groep van SME’s. In de jaren die volgden hebben we deze mensen met regelmaat geconsulteerd, getuige de nodige correspondentie, film- en geluidsopnamen e.d. waaruit die bereidheid tot samenwerking en hun commitment aan het project blijkt. Echter, de adviseurs werd alleen om advies gevraagd wanneer er vanuit onderzoek redenen behoefte was aan informatie die betrekking had op hun specifieke vakgebied. Dat was bij de een nu eenmaal vaker dan bij de ander. In het onderzoek stroomde informatie alleen naar binnen en niet naar buiten en dus waren zij vaak niet, soms gedeeltelijk en een enkele keer geheel op de hoogte van de voortgang van ons onderzoek. Het beheersen van de informatie is cruciaal binnen een onderzoek omdat naar buiten lekkende informatie het onderzoek kan frustreren of anderszins beïnvloeden.
In de subsidieaanvraag van 2017 hebben wij de namen van alle (destijds actieve) adviseurs opgenomen omdat al deze mensen zich bereid hadden verklaarden om mee te werken aan het onderzoek.
De toon van het artikel van mevrouw Rottenberg wekt de stellige indruk dat zij op zoek is gegaan naar mensen die zich nu opeens, wellicht onder druk van alle commotie, willen distantiëren van dit onderzoek. Dat iemand als Leo Simais (politie adviseur), die in het artikel wordt aangehaald, tijdens zijn gesprek met mevrouw Rottenberg heeft verklaard dat hij wel degelijk door ons op de hoogte was gebracht van het feit dat zijn naam werd gebruikt in de aanvraag, laat zij onvermeld. Dat is ernstig, omdat nu juist deze informatie cruciaal is in de kernbewering van haar artikel.
Maandag 31 januari 2022
Vandaag is er een brief door de directie van uitgeverij Ambo Anthos gestuurd aan haar auteurs (behalve aan ons). In deze brief wordt ons onderzoeksproject en het boek dat op basis daarvan geschreven is door Rosemary Sullivan besproken (ook zij is een auteur van Ambo Anthos).
Voor ons was dit een volledige verrassing. Uit nader contact met de directie van de uitgeverij bleek dat het gemaakte excuus geen betrekking heeft op het uitgeven van dit boek maar op alle commotie daaromheen.
Zoals reeds was besproken met de uitgeverij zullen Vince Pankoke (Cold Case Leader) en Pieter van Twisk (Hoofd Onderzoek) op korte termijn de vragen die de laatste weken in de media zijn gesteld (en die betrekking hebben op de resultaten van het onderzoek) in een verklaring nog eens nader toelichten.
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Monday, January 31, 2022
Today a letter has been sent by the management of publishing house Ambo Anthos to its authors (except to us). This letter discusses our research project and the book written based on it by Rosemary Sullivan (she is also an author of Ambo Anthos).
For us this was a complete surprise. Further contact with the management of the publishing house showed that the excuse made does not relate to the publication of this book, but to all the commotion surrounding it.
As already discussed with the publisher, Vince Pankoke (Cold Case Leader) and Pieter van Twisk (Head of Investigation) will shortly answer the questions asked in the media in recent weeks (that are related to the results of the investigation) in more detail.
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