The Betrayal of Anne Frank: A Cold Case Investigation

By Rosemary Sullivan


‘Hums with living history, human warmth and indignation’ New York Times

Less a mystery unsolved than a secret well kept

The mystery has haunted generations since the Second World War: Who betrayed Anne Frank and her family? And why?

Now, thanks to radical new technology and the obsession of a retired FBI agent, this book offers an answer. Rosemary Sullivan unfolds the story in a gripping, moving narrative.

Over thirty million people have read The Diary of a Young Girl, the journal teenaged Anne Frank kept while living in an attic with her family and four other people in Amsterdam during World War II, until the Nazis arrested them and sent them to a concentration camp. But despite the many works – journalism, books, plays and novels – devoted to Anne’s story, none has ever conclusively explained how these eight people managed to live in hiding undetected for over two years – and who or what finally brought the Nazis to their door.

With painstaking care, retired FBI agent Vincent Pankoke and a team of indefatigable investigators pored over tens of thousands of pages of documents – some never before seen – and interviewed scores of descendants of people familiar with the Franks. Utilising methods developed by the FBI, the Cold Case Team painstakingly pieced together the months leading to the infamous arrest – and came to a shocking conclusion.

The Betrayal of Anne Frank: A Cold Case Investigation is the riveting story of their mission. Rosemary Sullivan introduces us to the investigators, explains the behaviour of both the captives and their captors and profiles a group of suspects. All the while, she vividly brings to life wartime Amsterdam: a place where no matter how wealthy, educated, or careful you were, you never knew whom you could trust.

Format: ebook
Release Date: 18 Jan 2022
Pages: None
ISBN: 978-0-00-835385-8
ROSEMARY SULLIVAN, the author of fifteen books, is best known for her recent biography Stalin’s Daughter. Published in twenty-three countries, it won the Biographers International Organization Plutarch Award and was a finalist for the PEN /Bograd Weld Award for Biography and the National Books Critics Circle Award. Her book Villa Air-Bel was awarded the Canadian Society for Yad Vashem Award in Holocaust History. She is a professor emeritus at the University of Toronto and has lectured in Canada, the U.S., Europe, India, and Latin America.

The New York Times bestseller -

‘A stunning piece of historical detective work, cleverly structured and grippingly written’ -

Daily Telegraph, five stars -

‘Powerfully illuminates what it was like to live under a genocidal regime’ -

Kathryn Hughes, Guardian -

‘As much about the process of investigation as about the subject investigated. Along the way [Sullivan] lucidly describes many fascinating details of the compromises and betrayals of life under a murderous regime’ -

Craig Brown, Mail on Sunday -

‘Sullivan circles all of the possibilities like Agatha Christie with Zoom and a time machine. Shaped like a procedural or a whodunit, The Betrayal of Anne Frank hums with living history, human warmth and indignation’ -

New York Times -

‘Featuring startling new revelations and an intriguing new theory of what happened’ -

Daniel Finklestein, The Times -

‘Praiseworthy. With impressive clarity and dramatic effect, Sullivan reconstructs a complex investigation lasting five years’ -

Gerard de Groot, The Times -

‘A gripping, moving narrative’ -

Press Association -

‘Meticulous … Sullivan describes the Cold Case Team’s interdisciplinary methods, from criminal profiling, historical research and crowdsourcing to a Microsoft artificial intelligence program that found connections within a blizzard of archival documents. But the book is most engrossing as a portrait of wartime Amsterdam, a city of conflicting and cross-cutting loyalties, where personal peril could erase the line between heroism and villainy’ -

Boston Globe -