Controversial Anne Frank book published in Germany culture | DW

The publisher of HarperCollins Germany, Jürgen Welte, justifies the decision by saying that “all interested readers want […] allow them to form their own independent opinions about the book and the associated media discussion.” Work is currently underway on a “corrected, supplemented and commented on German language edition,” Welte said in a written statement available to DW.

Originally, the publication of the controversial book “The Betrayal of Anne Frank” by Rosemary Sullivan in Germany was planned for March 18, 2022. The publisher has not yet communicated a new release date. Weltes’ written statement goes on to say that they will not comment on the remaining questions “until the book’s release date, which has not yet been set.”

Yves Kugelmann, editor of the Jewish weekly “Tachles”, remains skeptical: “HarperCollins Germany invents a new genre of books: the annotated edition of a book with hundreds of errors,” he wrote in response to a question from DW. “In a decent world, such a book would not come out because the content is wrong and rumors circulate among the readership. In this way, the publishing house makes itself complicit with those revisionists who reinterpret history and subvert propositions about fact and science. .”

What’s in the book?

In February the book “The betrayal of Anne Frank” was published in several languages. In it, author Rosemary Sullivan describes the investigative work of a Dutch-American team led by former FBI agent Vince Pankoke.

In her diary, Anne Frank impressively captured what it was like to have to hide from the Nazis in the occupied Netherlands. It has been read millions of times.

The team claimed to have discovered in February who betrayed Anne Frank and her family to the Gestapo in Amsterdam during World War II. A Jewish notary was named as the culprit with an “85 percent chance”. The presumption of innocence did not seem to apply in this case. The book, which DW received in its original version, was reminiscent of a true crime story, and the investigators’ approach seemed speculative and dubious.

How has the discussion developed so far?

The book had therefore caused heated discussions in the Netherlands. Historians found numerous factual errors. Jewish associations also strongly criticized the publication of the book.

View of the Anne Frank House.  Cycling on the canal, a green tree.

The Amsterdam house where the Frank family and four other people hid from the Gestapo for two years now houses a museum, the Anne Frank House.

The Dutch publisher ambo anthos had therefore already apologized for the publication and announced that it did not want to publish a second edition until the research team had answered the questions.

Anne Frank and her family were murdered in Nazi concentration camps in 1945. Only her father, Otto, survived and published Anne’s diary after the war, which has since reached millions of readers around the world.

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