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Nazi Germany: Anne Frank: The investigation into the betrayal of the famous diarist remains open after nearly 80 years | USA

It has been nearly 78 years since the Nazis discovered the hideout being used by Anne Frank, her parents, her sister and four other people, on August 4, 1944. Hidden in an annex of a house on the canals of Amsterdam, after their capture they were sent to the concentration camps and only Anne’s father, Otto, survived. Anna and her sister, Margot, perished in Bergen-Belsen in 1945. Their mother, Edith, was killed at Auschwitz. According to historians, almost 28,000 Dutch Jews went into hiding like the Franks during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands in World War II. Around 12,000 of them were hunted down by the Nazis and suffered fates similar to those of Anne and her family and friends. The diary written by the young Anne during that time has become one of the best-known symbols of the Holocaust, and her name is synonymous with an unsolved case. No records of the search that led to their arrest remain and there are some 30 theories as to who might have tipped the occupiers off, if it was the work of collaborators or whether it was simply a raid related to the black market in ration cards.

A new book titled The Betrayal of Anne Frank, by Canadian author Rosemary Sullivan, details a six-year investigation carried out by an international team of researchers that suggests a Jewish notary named Arnold van den Bergh may have been the person who gave the Franks away. His name appears on an anonymous note received by Otto Frank after the war, and the researchers believe Van den Bergh may have acted to save his own family. Among the team members was Vince Pankoke, a former FBI agent. Van den Bergh was a member of the Jewish Council, an organization that kept lists of those in hiding and was forced to make them available to the Nazis before being sent to the camps themselves in 1943.

However, the conclusions of the investigation have been met with skepticism by Dutch historians, and the publishing house that printed the book in the Netherlands, Ambo Anthos, has since issued an apology, stating it should have taken a more “critical stance” and suggesting it will delay a second print run until concerns over the book are addressed.

In 1934, Otto and Edith Frank moved their family to the Netherlands from Frankfurt after Adolf Hitler gained power. Anne was four years old and Margot, seven. Once in Amsterdam, they installed themselves in a newly built neighborhood where many more Jewish families lived under the same circumstances. Otto found work at Opekta, a company that sold the fruit extract pectin for use in jam and which was headquartered at Prinsengracht 263. Almost a decade later, the rear annex of the building would become the hideout of the Frank family and Hermann and Auguste van Pels and their son Peter. Fritz Pfeffer, a dentist, completed the group of eight who took shelter from the terror of the Gestapo in the heart of the Dutch capital.

The original copy of Anne Frank’s diary, on display at the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam.
The original copy of Anne Frank’s diary, on display at the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam.Anne Frank House

The German army invaded the Netherlands on May 10, 1940, and Otto immediately started making plans to move the family into the 50-square-meter annex, eventually doing so two years later. According to Johannes Houwink ten Cate, a specialist in the study of the Holocaust, Otto Frank “spread the word that they had left for Switzerland and went into hiding with his entire family in July 1942.”

“It was not an act typical of the time, as children were often separated from their parents because they had more chance of survival that way,” Ten Cate tells EL PAÍS. Jewish children were sent to places far away from their homes based on their appearance. As such, “a darker child would pass unnoticed in the south, whereas a blonder child would do so in the north, and Otto Frank was taking a risk by keeping everyone together. Although it is the case that he managed to hide them for two years,” says the historian.

On the morning of August 4, 1944, German police under the command of Austrian SS Sergeant Karl Silberbauer, raided Prinsengracht 263 and found the Franks and their companions. The Anne Frank House Museum says there are no official documents regarding the arrest, but Otto Frank and five people who helped the family during their hiding in 1945 identified the two Dutch agents who had been present from photographs. In her biography of Otto Frank, Carol Ann Lee suggests Tonny Ahlers, a member of the National Socialist Movement in the Netherlands (NSB), informed the Gestapo of the whereabouts of the Franks and their companions. However, Ten Cate notes: “It has never been proven that Ahlers knew about the annex. The same thing happened with Lena Hartog, the wife of a worker at the company. Melissa Müller, Anne Frank’s biographer, suggested she was the guilty party but there is no proof of that either.”

Another suspect is Ans van Dijk, a Jewish woman who revealed several hideouts having helped to stow away people herself and who was executed as a collaborator in 1948. “That has also never been proven. The desire to know is one thing, but to really know the truth is quite different,” says Ten Cate, who believes the international investigation that forms the basis of Sullivan’s book did good work in analyzing and discarding numerous theories, including a telephone call from an informant received by Willy Lages, the chief of the SS security service in Amsterdam. But the historian maintains that they are mistaken to point the finger at Arnold van den Bergh.

A memorial to Anne Frank and her sister Margot at Bergen-Belsen.
A memorial to Anne Frank and her sister Margot at Bergen-Belsen.sean gallup

The Betrayal of Anne Frank centers around the anonymous note received by Otto Frank after the war, which named Van den Bergh as the informant due to his place on the compromised Jewish Council. The Nazis drew up a register of all Dutch Jews and the researchers assume that Van den Bergh had access to the lists of those in hiding. “They maintain that he handed these over to protect his family,” says Ten Cate. “It is naïve to imagine that the Nazis would respect a Jew for passing them information during the biggest genocide in history. Even though Van den Bergh faked documents to pass himself off as half-Jewish to avoid deportation, when they found out he had to go into hiding with his family. It was February 1944 and Anne Frank was discovered in August of the same year. I don’t think it was the notary, who died in 1950, but his reputation is stained forever. The Jewish Council was heavily criticized after the war for the role it played as an instrument in the hands of the occupiers, but I have never heard anything about them having lists of hidden Jews.”

The problem, Ten Cate adds, is that publicity is already in overdrive. “Netflix is also behind this; but the reality is that life under the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands was so complex that it surpasses any fiction.”

Another name that has cropped up over the years is that of Willem van Maaren, a stockroom manager at Opekta. However, he was investigated after the war to no avail. It is also noteworthy that two people involved with those helping to hide the Franks were arrested for their activities on the black market.

Otto Frank shows the late Queen Juliana of the Netherlands the bookcase that led to the secret annex on the 50th anniversary of Anne Frank’s birth.
Otto Frank shows the late Queen Juliana of the Netherlands the bookcase that led to the secret annex on the 50th anniversary of Anne Frank’s birth.Bettmann (Bettmann Archive)

In the view of historian Bart van der Boom, despite The Diary of Anne Frank first being published in 1947, it was the eponymous 1955 theatrical work and George Stevens’ 1959 movie that catapulted her to global fame. “For an American, the story of the Holocaust is the story of this young girl, but her story is no more valuable than other Jews in the same situation. Today she is almost a brand, and it tempting to present an eye-catching conclusion after a new search for possible informers,” says Van der Boom. “After the war, the Jewish Council got very bad press, and German war criminals said its members had been traitors in order to defend themselves. As such, the accusation against the notary and the Council itself is irresponsible without solid evidence. It is possible that there wasn’t a betrayal, but now we are being told that one Jew informed on another and that can be used as an anti-Semitic stereotype.”

The theory that someone could have seen strange comings and goings at the annex from the backyard and called the police can also not be ruled out. Historian David Barnouw tells EL PAÍS that eight people hiding in a house for two years could easily have been spotted by a neighbor. “Over the past few decades, more than 20 people have been accused of being the possible traitor. Because we need a traitor. The new investigation says its findings have a probability percentage of 85%. For a historian, this is ridiculous.”

Barnouw suspects there will always be new theories about the tragedy of Anne Frank and her family, and puts forward a reflection on their years in hiding: “If they had not been discovered, would they have survived the winter of hunger in 1944?” he asks, in reference to the famine provoked by the Nazi blockade on food transportation in the west of the country after the Allies had liberated the southern Netherlands. It is estimated that 22,000 people died as a result. “There are many things that we will probably never know about this case.”

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Here’s when your favorite show may return as writers strike is on the verge of ending | Culture

A tentative agreement between striking screenwriters and Hollywood studios offers some hope that the industry’s dual walkouts may soon be over. But when will your favorite shows return?

Well, it’s complicated. First, the agreement needs to pass two key votes, and certain paused productions such as Deadpool 3 and Yellowjackets will still have to wait on actors to reach a deal with studios.

When is ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ coming back?

Once the contract is approved, work will resume more quickly for some writers than others. Late-night talk shows were the first to be affected when the strike began, and they may be among the first to return to air now. NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live and The Late Show With Stephen Colbert on CBS could come back within days.

Saturday Night Live might be able to return for its 49th season, though some actors may not be able to appear. The actors strike limits promotional appearances that are the lifeblood of the late-night shows.

Shows that return while actors are still picketing could prove controversial, as happened with the planned resumptions of daytime shows including The Drew Barrymore Show and The Talk. Those plans were later abandoned.

One show that’s likely to make a speedy return? Real Time with Bill Maher. The host plotted a return without writers but ended up postponing once last week’s negotiations were set.

What about ‘Stranger Things’ and ‘Superman’?

Writers rooms for scripted shows that shut down at the strike’s onset, including Netflix’s Stranger Things, Severance on Apple TV+ and Abbott Elementary on ABC are also likely to reactivate quickly. But with no performers to act out the scripts, long delays between page and screen will be inevitable.

Film writers will also get back to work on their slower timeline, though those working on scripts or late revisions for already scheduled movies — including “Deadpool 3″ and “Superman: Legacy” — will certainly be hustling to avoid further release-date delays.

When are Drew Barrymore and other daytime shows coming back?

Barrymore’s planned return to her daytime television show became a rallying point for picketers earlier this month, prompting her to cancel her plans. The Talk and The Jennifer Hudson Show, which also employ some screenwriters, also called off plans to return.

Barrymore and the other shows have not announced their plans for returning. However, the Writers Guild of America has made it clear: Guild members cannot start working again on projects until the tentative contract is ratified.

That vote has not yet been scheduled.

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Milan fashion celebrated diversity and inclusion with refrain: Make more space for color and curves | Culture

More curvy models than ever showed up on Milan runways this season, due mostly to a single show by Brazilian designer Karoline Vitto, while designers of color showcased their work at collateral events meant to promote their visibility — along with diversity — in the backrooms of Italian fashion.

Wherever diversity and inclusion were being celebrated during Milan Fashion Week, which ended Sunday, there was one underlying refrain: Make more space.

Curvy models get outing at Karoline Vitto

“We made history! It was incredible,’’ world-renown curvy model Ashley Graham gushed as she embraced London-based Vitto after Sunday’s show. Graham is often the only curvy model on major fashion runways, but for this show she led a cast of models ranging in size from UK 10 to UK 24 (US 6 to US 20).

By comparison, some Milan brands typically size up to 48 Italian (US size 12), while some, notably Dolce & Gabbana which sponsored Vitto, has extended some looks up to an Italian size 52 (US 16).

Graham wore an edgy black ripped corset and long sheer skirt, while other models wore form-hugging jersey dresses fitted with S-shaped metallic fixtures that sculpted their curves. She used the same technique for bathing suits.

“It feels normal,’’ Graham said, calling on more designers to get more curves on the runway. “If I feel normal on the runway with this many girls, that means that there is something that doesn’t feel normal when I am on the runway with everybody else.”

Diversifying small brand profiles

After working in fashion for decades, Deborah Latouche launched her own brand after converting to Islam and realizing how hard it was to find clothes that were “luxury, high-end and modest.”

Latouche brand, Sabirah, was highlighted along with US brand BruceGlen at the Milan Fashion Hub for new and emerging designers, sponsored by Blanc Magazine’s Teneshia Carr and the Italian National Fashion Chamber. The Hub offered space to meet buyers and other people interested in new brands.

“Something like this is really important because small brands such as myself can get really overlooked,’’ said Latouche, who has shown her brand in London, where she is based. “We put a lot of work in but we don’t necessarily get a lot of recognition.

Being invited to Milan “is an amazing platform that gives us the potential to elevate and that is really important,’’ she said.

Twins Bruce and Glen Proctor have been working on their brand for 17 years, and relished the time in Milan showing their creations to a new audience while they also connect with their true creative intentions.

“For a longtime we did black and white, based on what we thought the industry wanted,” Bruce Glen said. Now they are doing what comes naturally, “Colors, prints and fur.’’

Carr said presentations where people can touch the wares are a great way to connect people with a new product, without the huge expense of a runway show.

“The fashion system isn’t working for anyone but the 1 percent. I am all for trying to make new systems where everyone gets paid and people get clothes that make them feel better,’’ she said.

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Hollywood Studios Reach Tentative Agreement With Screenwriters To End The Strike

The picket line of writers and actors outside Netflix offices in Los Angeles.

The picket line of writers and actors outside Netflix offices in Los Angeles.

A happy ending in Hollywood. The studios and the writers’ union have reached a tentative agreement to end the screenwriters’ strike that has brought the world of film and television in the United States to a halt for nearly five months.

After four days of negotiations, Hollywood studios and the Writers Guild of America (WGA) managed to set down the bases of a new collective agreement. The deal announced Sunday unblocks one of the longest labor conflicts in the industry, with the strike now at 146 days.

“We can say, with great pride, that this deal is exceptional, with meaningful gains and protections for writers in every sector of the membership” the WGA stated in a press release. The leadership of the screenwriters’ organization must ratify the pact on Tuesday by a vote. The studios must now focus on resolving the conflict with the actors’ union, which is still on strike, so that productions can resume operations.

The studios and the WGA resumed negotiations on Wednesday after months of tension and a failed attempt to reach an agreement in mid-August. This time, there was a greater sense of urgency from both sides, who were concerned that further disagreement could have stretched the strike to 2024.

The main executives of the four studios attended the meetings with this in mind to show their willingness to negotiate. The parties set the goal of drafting the new contract before the Yom Kippur holidays, which began Sunday afternoon.

The negotiations were attended by Bob Iger, from Disney; David Zaslav from Warner Bros. Discovery; Netflix’s Ted Sarandos and NBCUniversal’s Donna Langley. The studio heads were present for three days at the meetings, which were held at the offices of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).

Over the weekend, the studios were able to finalize the remaining details of the deal with the WGA. California Governor Gavin Newsom was also involved to ensure that both sides remained at the negotiating table. The strike has cost the state about $3 billion, according to a conservative estimate by California State University Northridge.

SAG-AFTRA actors and Writers Guild of America (WGA) writers rally during their ongoing strike, in Los Angeles, California, U.S. September 13, 2023.

SAG-AFTRA actors and Writers Guild of America (WGA) writers rally during their ongoing strike, in Los Angeles, California, U.S.

In the press release to announce the tentative agreement, the WGA made it clear that the strike is not over yet: “No one is to return to work until specifically authorized to by the Guild. We are still on strike until then.” The WGA’s 11,500 members must vote on the agreement.

This will happen after Tuesday, when the Negotiating Committee ratifies the deal once the final version of the text is ready. The deal is likely to be overwhelmingly approved by screenwriters, who have expressed their satisfaction for the resolution. Union members have also recognized the work of the Negotiating Committee, headed by Ellen Stutzaman.

While the strike continues until the deal is voted on, the WGA has brought an end to the picket lines at the gates of major studios in Los Angeles and New York, which have been in place since May 2.

If the strike had reached September 30, it would have become the longest in the history of the WGA, surpassing the 153 days of the 1988 strike. Actors, in the meantime, remain on strike, until they reach a deal with the studios.

According to the writers, the agreement was made possible after the studios agreed to reformulate the scope that artificial intelligence will have in the writing of content, and to set minimum rules for writers’ rooms.

During the strike, screenwriters complained that studios were abusing so-called mini rooms, a more compact version of a writers’ room. These mini rooms were used to develop more content for streaming platforms in less time and with fewer hands, which made the work more precarious. The new agreement establishes a minimum number of people who must write a television series.

One of the most insistent demands by the WGA was a review of the residual payment model. Residuals are compensation paid for the reuse of a credited writer’s work. The union argued that the previous scheme worked in the times of broadcast TV, but that adjustments needed to be made for the era of streaming. In the digital age, writers, producers and actors receive see hardly any compensation for shows that become hits on platforms.

The studios agreed to change the model to increase compensation depending on a show’s audience figures. This issue is also key to resolving the conflict with the actors’ union SAG-AFTRA, which has 160,000 members, and has been on strike for 72 days.

After the failed negotiations in August, the pickets at the doors of the studios became larger in September. The writers flexed their muscles when Drew Barrymore announced she would return to filming her CBS talk show. This provoked the anger of the scriptwriters, who argued that the popular actress was violating the strike. Barrymore defended herself by stating that many members of the production were suffering financial hardship after months without work. But she came under a lot of pressure.

After a week, Barrymore tearfully apologized in a video posted on social media and announced that she would not resume filming. Other television productions followed, reporting that they would not return until the strike was resolved.

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