Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Fast Forward

The Hunt For Anne Frank’s Betrayer Continues – Now With High-Tech

The search for Anne Frank’s betrayer is still on – but now, it’s bolstered by high-tech research methods.

Former FBI agent Vincent Pankoke is directing a team of forensic scientists and others in the hunt for the person who turned Anne Frank and her family in to the Nazis, National Geographic reported. The “cold case” team is revisiting archival material with the help of a program developed by the data science company Xomnia and is using three-dimensional scanning technology to assess who might have heard a sound from the Frank family’s hiding place.

Over seventy years since Frank was taken to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, where she died of typhus, there is no clear answer as to why she and the others hiding with her were found. Some experts on the Frank family have expressed skepticism that the Frank family was betrayed at all.

“By asking ‘Who betrayed Anne Frank?,’ you actually assume tunnel vision already,” Anne Frank House researcher Gertjan Broek told National Geographic. “You leave out other options.”

Broek supports the theory that German and Dutch Nazis stumbled upon the Frank family’s hiding place during an investigation of suspicious activity related to ration coupons.

Frank’s diary, published by her father after her death, is today one of the most important texts in Holocaust education. After the eight people hiding in the attic with her were discovered, they were deported to concentration camps. Only Anne Frank’s father, Otto Frank, survived the Holocaust. When Frank died, she was 15.

Benjamin Gladstone is an intern at the Forward. Contact him by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @bensgladstone

A message from our editor-in-chief Jodi Rudoren

We're building on 127 years of independent journalism to help you develop deeper connections to what it means to be Jewish today.

With so much at stake for the Jewish people right now — war, rising antisemitism, a high-stakes U.S. presidential election — American Jews depend on the Forward's perspective, integrity and courage.

—  Jodi Rudoren, Editor-in-Chief 

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.