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Arnold van den Bergh

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Bureaucrat

The Resume

    (January 20, 1886-October 28, 1950)
    Born in Oss, Netherlands
    Dutch legal notary based in Amsterdam
    Notable for contributions in the field of social work in the Netherlands
    Believed to be the betrayer of Anne Frank and her family
    Identified in a January 16, 2022 60 Minutes segment

Why he might be annoying:

    He was a member of the Jewish Council - or 'Judenrat' - of Amsterdam, and as such was often complicit in the Nazi atrocities against Dutch Jews.
    He was accused of revealing the Franks’ Secret Annex hiding place to the Germans in order to save his own family from potential deportation.
    If true, he would have been indirectly responsible for the Frank Family (along with the Van Pels and Fritz Pfeffer) being arrested and later transported to Auschwitz. Anne and Margot would later die at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.
    The smoking gun for the research team conducting the investigation was a typed, anonymous note delivered to Otto Frank after World War II naming him as the betrayer.
    Researchers pointed out that Frank suspiciously ended his search after receiving the note.
    It has been theorized that he never named him publicly because A) Van den Bergh was dead by the time the note was received and B) he feared that it would further fuel anti-Semitism to learn that a Jew betrayed other Jewish people.
    The findings seemed to exonerate Willem van Maaren, an employee in the warehouse where the Franks were hiding, who was commonly believed to be the informant (but honestly its like trying to find the identity of Jack the Ripper).

Why he might not be annoying:

    He was one of only six Jewish notaries operating in Amsterdam.
    His family eventually lost their safe status and went into hiding in the countryside around October of 1943.
    The findings were criticized by the head of the Anne Frank Fund as 'full of errors' (The Anne Frank House also called the findings interesting far from conclusive).
    Skeptics of the team's findings have pointed out that he would have been in hiding at the time of the Frank family's arrest - thereby making him an unlikely suspect.
    A family friend also pointed out inconsistencies in the timeline - he would been unlikely to turn the Franks in months after the Invasion of Normandy, at which point he would have thought the war was about to end.
    He died of throat cancer while living in London after surviving the war.
    Assuming that the findings are accurate, his actions - while selfish - would also be difficult to judge (what would anyone do in such a situation?).

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair


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Year In Review:

    For 2021, as of last week, Out of 10 Votes: 60.0% Annoying