A new theory as to how Anne Frank came to be captured by the Nazis has come to light.
The Washington Post reports that historians have developed a new theory as to how the Frank family was discovered by Nazi investigators. The original theory assumes that someone close to the family betrayed them to authorities. But historians now posit that their capture may have just been a coincidence.
Frank was a teenage girl hiding in a house in Amsterdam with seven other Jewish people. For two years they hid from the Nazis, until one day in 1944 they were captured and sent to concentration camps. Frank later died of typhus at age 15 inside the Bergen-Belsen camp in Germany. Her diary has become world famous and serves as a reminder of what life was like under Nazi-occupied rule.
Otto Frank, Anne’s father who survived the war, long believed that someone betrayed his family to the Nazis. However, there was never any evidence of such betrayal. Historians now believe that the capture of Anne and her family may have been a result of Nazi investigators looking into the illegal use of food coupons.
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Yahoo! reports that during World War II, the Nazis rationed food. Many were caught using fraudulent coupons to obtain extra food. Frank even wrote about how Nazi police would enter the houses of those who were alleged to have used fraudulent coupons.
It is now assumed that someone in the household that was hiding Frank was arrested for this illegal use of coupons and when the Nazis arrived, they discovered Frank and the other Jewish people in hiding.
A research paper from an investigation into Frank's capture eludes to the possibility we may never know:
In any case, the Anne Frank House's investigative report indicates that more was going on in the building (than) only people being hidden there. The possibility of betrayal has of course not been entirely ruled out by this. … Clearly, the last word about that fateful summer day in 1944 has not yet been said.
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There remains no conclusive evidence about how or why the Franks were discovered. All historians can do is posit theories and make educated guesses.