Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Vienna Police Officer Who Arrested Anne Frank Was Gestapo Chief

November 26, 1963
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The suspended Vienna police officer who arrested Anne Frank, Karl Silberhauer, was not a minor Nazi functionary, but chief of the Gestapo department in Holland during the occupation, officials reported today.

They said he had been in charge of “tracing enemies of the Reich,” a designation covering Jews and Allied pilots parachuting into Holland. According to trustworthy sources, he employed 30 Dutch police spies in his work.

Silberhauer said that the man who betrayed the Anne Frank family was a Dutch storekeeper in the warehouse where the eight members of the family had hidden for two years. The only entrance was a revolving side door. Silberhauer said he remembered Anne as “a good-looking girl” and that her father had placed marks on the door panel to indicate how quickly Anne had grown during the two years.

The former Gestapo official said that the arrest took place on a hot August day and that the Franks displayed no resistance when they were arrested and taken to a Dutch jail in Herzogenbusch. He also said he did not know what happened to the Franks and that he did not know then of the existence of the extermination camps for the Jews.

(Justice officials in Amsterdam today ordered a new investigation against the Amsterdam Warehouse worker who in 1944 betrayed the hidden Anne Frark family to the German security police.)

Recommended from JTA