Cold-case investigation names surprise suspect in Anne Frank’s betrayal

A six-year cold case investigation into the betrayal of Anne Frank has identified a surprising suspect in the mystery of how the Nazis found the hiding place of the famous diarist in 1944.

Anne and seven other Jews were discovered by the Nazis on Aug. 4 of that year, after they had hid for nearly two years in a secret annex above a canal-side warehouse in Amsterdam. All were deported and Anne died in the Bergen Belsen camp at age 15.

A team that included retired U.S. FBI agent Vincent Pankoke and around 20 historians, criminologists and data specialists identified a relatively unknown figure, Jewish notary Arnold van den Bergh, as a leading suspect in revealing the hideout.

Some other experts emphasised that the evidence against him was not conclusive.

Investigating team member Pieter van Twisk said the crucial piece of new evidence was an unsigned note to Anne’s father Otto found in an old post-war investigation dossier, specifically naming Van den Bergh and alleging he passed on the information.

The note said Van den Bergh had access to addresses where Jews were hiding as a member of Amsterdam’s wartime Jewish Council and had passed lists of such addresses to the Nazis to save his own family.

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80 Years After Pearl Harbor, We Now Know the Govt Knew the Attack Was Coming

On the morning of December 7, 1941, Japanese planes, launched from aircraft carriers, attacked the American fleet at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, sinking or heavily damaging 18 ships (including eight battleships), destroying 188 planes, and leaving over 2,000 servicemen killed.

The next day, President Franklin D. Roosevelt denounced this “day of infamy” before Congress, from whom he secured an avid declaration of war.

Up until then, however, Americans had overwhelmingly opposed involvement in World War II. They had been thoroughly disillusioned by the First World War:

  • although they had been told they would be fighting for “democracy” in that previous war, taxpayers learned from the postwar Graham Committee of Congress that they’d been defrauded out of some $6 billion in armaments that were never manufactured or delivered1;
  • atrocity tales about German soldiers (such as cutting the hands off thousands of Belgian children) had turned out to be fabrications;
  • the sinking of the Lusitania – the central provocation that ultimately led to the U.S. declaration of war – had been committed by Germany not to kill women and children (as propaganda claimed), but to prevent tens of tons of war munitions from reaching the European front. (Click here for a debunking of the Lusitania myth.)

When the Maine sank, the proactive Assistant Secretary of the Navy had been Teddy Roosevelt. After the 1898 Spanish-American War he became governor of New York, and by 1901 was President of the United States. When the Lusitania sank, the Assistant Secretary of the Navy was his distant cousin Franklin D. Roosevelt – who likewise went on to become governor of New York and then President.

Just as coincident: during the Lusitania affair, the head of the British Admiralty was yet another cousin of Franklin D. – Winston Churchill. And in a chilling déjà vu, as Pearl Harbor approached, these two men were now heads of their respective states.

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Files of the Nuremberg Trials published online

On the 75th anniversary of the Nuremberg trial of the major war criminals of World War II, Stanford University digitized the historical files of this trial and made them publicly available online. 

From November 20, 1945, to October 1, 1946, leading representatives of the National Socialist regime had to answer before an international military tribunal. The 24 main defendants included Hermann Göring, Rudolf Hess, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Wilhelm Keitel and Karl Dönitz.

The documents were provided by the International Court of Justice in The Hague. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington has digitized the documents. Stanford University made the files searchable using text recognition and divided them into types of documents such as charges, closing arguments, pardon, and witness lists.

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The Plutonium Files: The US Government Injected Unsuspecting Citizens With Plutonium

In the mid-1940s the US was leading the world in atomic weapons development and the understanding of radioactive materials. Just ten years after plutonium had been discovered, the Manhattan Project was already close to creating a working atomic bomb. Such advances had not been made on the safe handling of such materials, however. This lack of understanding led to researchers on the project injecting people, unwittingly, with plutonium, to study the effects.

The Manhattan Project was the name of the major US research and development program that produced working atomic weapons. It began officially began in 1942, but similar, less intensive research had been ongoing since the late 1930s. The US took the idea of atomic weapons seriously in 1939 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt received the Einstein–Szilárd letter from Hungarian physicists. This letter warned the US about the potential German development of atomic weapons and was signed by Albert Einstein.

While it’s most famous for the development of the atomic bomb, the Manhattan Project encompassed a number of different paths of research at different sites.

Much of this was related to the incredibly complex development and production of the weapons themselves, but a small priority was placed on studying the health effects of the materials involved in the project.

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Ike and Leahy Were Right: The Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Were Wrong

In the summer of 1945, President Harry Truman found himself searching for a decisive blow against the Empire of Japan. Despite the many Allied victories during 1944 and 1945, Truman believed Emperor Hirohito would urge his generals to fight on. America suffered 76,000 casualties at the battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa, and the Truman administration anticipated that a prolonged invasion of mainland Japan would result in even more devastating numbers. Even so, plans were drawn up to invade Japan under the name Operation Downfall.

The estimates for the potential carnage were sobering; the Joint Chiefs of Staff pegged the expected casualties at 1.2 million. Staff for Admiral Chester Nimitz and General Douglas MacArthur both expected over 1,000 casualties per day, while the personnel at the Department of the Navy thought the totals would run as high as four million, with the Japanese incurring up to 10 million of their own. The Los Angeles Times was a bit more optimistic, projecting one million casualties.

With those numbers, it’s no wonder the US opted to (literally) take the nuclear option by dropping Little Boy on Hiroshima on August 6, and then Fat Man on Nagasaki on August 9. Japan formally surrendered 24 days later, sparing potentially millions of US servicemen and vindicating the horrifying-yet-necessary bombings.

At least this is the common narrative we’re all taught in grade school. But like so many historical narratives, it’s an oversimplification and historically obtuse.

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The ABBA-Nazi Connection–And It’s Weirder Than You Can Imagine

In the whole of pop history, has there been a band more wholesome than ABBA? Yet if you dig into the personal history of one of its members, you’ll discover something sinister, one of the many evil tentacles of the Third Reich.

And before you jump to conclusions, although involved, ABBA is totally blameless.

World War I was brutal on the German population. So many men were killed that the country’s birthrate fell a staggering 43% between 1920 and 1932. With population-boosting immigration out of the question, Hitler and his racial purity-obsessed cronies came up with a policy called Lebensborn, a program that encouraged women possessing Aryan ideals to breed. A lot.

This effort to create a new generation of racially pure children for the Reich involved everything from stealing children to the establishing of secret birthing facilities.

Heinrich Himmler, the head of the SS, was positive that too many German women of solid breeding stock were having abortions. He came up with the idea of having those women carry their unwanted children to term, giving birth in any one of the dozens of secret government clinics, furnished with the possessions stolen from the homes if displaced Jews. Once born, the kids were given to families of solid, elite SS/Aryan credentials to raise as their own.

When the program began, Himmler was big on having member of the SS and the military have children with any Aryan women, both within wedlock and without. For the glory of the Fatherland, you know?

As German casualties mounted during WW II, Himmler ordered his officers to marry and have kids. Women in occupied countries were also highly encouraged to mate with Nazi officers and German soldiers.

The Lebebsborn program moved east into Poland where up to 200,000 babies were kidnapped. Those who passed the racial purity test were placed in approved homes. Those who did not were sent or orphanages. Or executed.

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