One of the enduring mysteries of the second World War, the identity of the person who betrayed 15-year-old diarist Anne Frank and her family to the Nazis, has apparently been solved – by a Dutch author who has named his own aunt as the most likely traitor.
In a book published on Wednesday about Dutch resistance heroine Elizabeth “Bep” Voskuijl, her son, Joop van Wijk, reveals new evidence that his aunt, Nelly Voskuijl, was a Nazi collaborator from the age of 19 until she was 23 – and is now the prime suspect for having divulged the Franks’s hiding place.
Bep Voskuijl was a typist who worked for Anne’s father, Otto Frank. She and her father, Johan, who built the famous bookcase that hid the door to the Franks’s secret annex over the factory on the Prinsengracht in Amsterdam, were among the few who knew their whereabouts.
In 1942, Otto Frank and his wife, Edith, along with Anne and her elder sister, Margot, went into hiding when Margot received a notice from the Central Office for Jewish Emigration ordering her to report for “relocation” to a work camp.
Anne wrote her account of their time in the annex in The Diary of a Young Girl (better known since as The Diary of Anne Frank), but the family was arrested on the morning of August 4th, 1944, when German police searched the house following a tip from an informer.
Go to your Jews
Joop van Wijk and Belgian journalist Jeroen de Bruyn say they spoke to another Voskuijl sister, Diny, who has never before given her account, as well as to Bep Voskuijl’s fiance during the war. Their evidence supports the view Nelly wasthe traitor. The book even recalls how on one occasion, after a row at home, Nelly shouted at her sister and father: “Go then, go to your Jews!”
"The painful but evident conclusion is that we can add her to the long list of suspects", the authors write in their book, Bep Voskuijl: No More Silence.For historians of the era, the informant's identity is essentially "case closed".
Nelly Voskuijl died in 2001.Separated from her daughters, Edith Frank died in Auschwitz, aged 44. Anne and Margot died in Bergen-Belsen, aged 15 and 19.