Former FBI Agent Launches Investigation into Anne Frank’s Capture

Anne Frank (AnneFrank1940 crop.jpg from Collectie Anne Frank Stichting Amsterdam lisenced under public domain)

A retired FBI agent has launched an investigation into identifying those who may have betrayed the hiding place of Anne Frank and her family to the Gestapo secret police in 1944.

Former agent Vince Pankoke believes investigative techniques developed in the past decade, including the crunching of big data to uncover leads, will help his team of 19 forensic experts with research pertaining to Anne Frank, The Guardian reported.

The Anne Frank House in Amsterdam has welcomed the initiative, which is being filmed and chronicled online, as investigators—including historians, psychological profilers and former police detectives—work through the evidence.

Immediately after the war, Anne Frank’s father, Otto Frank, strongly suspected warehouse worker Wilhelm van Maaren of betraying the group’s hiding place. Two investigations by the Dutch police, however, did not find any evidence against Van Maaren.

“They weren’t really investigations,” said Pankoke. “I am working through the files and there are so many questions unanswered.”

Last December, the Anne Frank House museum published its own study suggesting the Franks may have been discovered by chance instead of being betrayed.

Pankoke, meanwhile, says his preparatory work—examining recently declassified documents shipped back to the U.S. after the war—has led to fresh insights.

According to The Guardian, the project leaders hope to unveil their findings Aug. 4, 2019, on the 75th anniversary of the Frank family’s arrest.


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