Cesare Saletta, to whom I am indebted for the present translation, is a man of distinguished intellect. I thank him for his work and gladly accede to his wish that I bring forth a few clarifications on the lot that has befallen my analysis of the alleged diary of Anne Frank. This analysis, if I may remind the reader, was drafted in 1978, transmitted at that time to a court in Hamburg and published, two years later, in a work by Serge Thion (1).
Pierre Vidal-Naquet in 1980: "A doctored text"
In 1980, Pierre Vidal-Naquet, in whose eyes I am nothing but an "assassin of remembrance" (Jewish remembrance, it is understood), nonetheless wrote:
It sometimes happens that Faurisson is right. I have said publicly, and repeat here, that when he shows that the Anne Frank diary is a doctored text, he may not be right in all details, [but] he is certainly right overall and an expert examination made for the Hamburg court has just shown that, in effect, this text was at the very least revised after the war, since [it was written] using ballpoint pens which appeared only in 1951. That is plain, clear and precise (2).
Those familiar with P. Vidal-Naquet and his penchant for chopping and changing will not be surprised to learn that, a few years afterwards, our good man was to change his mind.
In 1986, The Diary of Anne Frank / The Critical Edition (R.I.O.D.)
In 1986 there appeared in Amsterdam, under the direction of the R.I.O.D. (Rijksinstituut voor Oorlogsdocumentatie, the Netherlands State Institute of War Documentation), a big volume with "scientific" pretensions (in France, its blurb strip read: "complete edition of the diary's three versions"). Therein it was concluded not that Anne Frank's "diary" was genuine but ... and what a surprise, this plural! ... that her "diaries" were. With many a precaution in the wording, the book accused the young girl's father, Otto Heinrich Frank, of having carried out manipulations of the original texts and of having lied. On the subject of the abusive "corrections" and "cuts" imputed to the latter, the R.I.O.D. stated straightforwardly:
All this may seem natural and understandable in one who aspired merely to publish the essence ("das Wesentliche") of the literary bequest, the document humain, of his daughter, in what appeared to him a fit and proper manner. However, the sentence inserted on his authority at the conclusion of the Dutch edition of the Diary: "With the exception of a few sections of little interest to the reader, the original text has been retained," must be seen as something more than an obvious understatement.
Otto Frank stuck to this conviction to his death: "the essence" had been published and that was the end of the matter. No amount of argument could make him change his mind.
As a result, over the long years during which the diary went on to play an increasingly important role in the view of millions of people who came to look on it as a historical document rather that as a work of literature, he did not make it easier to ward off attacks on the book. (3)
It thus conceded to me a point of capital importance: I had been right to lay blame on father Frank and to attack his stubbornness in hiding the truth about his manipulations. But the book held that there had nevertheless existed a whole series of Anne Frank diaries, all genuine, and that I been wrong on this other, essential question.
I therefore had the right to expect both a rebuttal of my arguments on that point and a demonstration of the authenticity of those diaries. Yet I found nothing of the kind in this purportedly scholarly R.I.O.D. edition.
A diversionary tactic
This "scholarly" book exhibits the traits of a procedure in which someone attempts, by a display of learning on a given subject, to draw attention away from the matter at hand. In effect, the substance of the demonstration consists merely in a handwriting analysis. With a rich supply of photographs stress is laid on the similarities between writings, while great discretion is the rule as concerns the differences which, even for a layman, are so glaring.
Crucial point: We are not shown the two handwriting samples that I had brought forth in my analysis (see page 297 of S. Thion's book), and no study of them is offered. I refer here to two extraordinarily divergent samples: the "adult" cursive script dated 12 June 1942 and the "childish" writing in print dated four months later, 10 October 1942; the two "Anne Frank" signatures themselves are peculiarly different, one from the other. It was this point of mine that most needed answering, for it was the heart of the matter.
Neither is there any specimen of the handwriting of Isa Cauvern, on whose collaboration I had voiced some suspicions. Nor is there a single mention of the Tales manuscript which had so struck me by its appearance: that of the hand of a tidy old accountant. Why, of all the manuscripts attributed to the girl, had that one not been made available to the experts? But above all the authors of this "scholarly" edition, by insisting to such an extent on the study of handwritings, have deserted what ought to have been their main task: the examination in substance proper. They should have made it their priority to supply the reader with the proof that, contrary to what I had said, the account could actually reflect a physical or material reality. Moreover, they should have shown that this account, in all the forms of it that we know, remains coherent and comprehensible, which is far from being the case. But there is no such demonstration. At the beginning of the work there is indeed an attempt to grapple with the physical or material impossibilities which I had pointed out but this attempt comes to a sudden end. A response is sketched on one point only: that of the noises, at times quite voluble, made by eight persons over a period of more than two years in a small space, presumed to be uninhabited; even at night, while "the enemies" are absent, the slightest noise must be avoided and, if someone has a cough, he or she takes codeine. Yet, in the attic, in the middle of the day, Pierre happens to cut wood before the open window! My argument is derided on this point and my adversaries dare to respond, in the face of conclusive textual proof to the contrary, that "the enemies" were not there, at such a precise moment, to hear anything (p. 95-96). All of my other arguments are passed over in silence. For his part, father Frank, in 1977, when I had put him in an awkward position with my utterly down-to-earth queries, had found no better reply to make than:
Mr Faurisson, you are theoretically and scientifically right. I agree with you one hundred per cent... What you point out to me was, in fact, impossible. But, in practice, it was nevertheless in that way that things happened.
To which I answered that, if he would be so good as to agree with me that a door could not be both open and shut at the same time, it followed that he, in practice, could not have seen a door in such a state. Yet, if I may put it thus, simultaneously open and shut doors, that is, physical or material impossibilities, were already legion in the Anne Frank diary as we knew it at the time. What can one say of the likely growth in number of those impossibilities in the "diaries"?
A financial swindler?
There is nonetheless a part of this "scholarly" edition that I cannot recommend enough to readers. It is that in which the rather unsettling pre-war past of Otto Frank and his brother Herbert is revealed. In a preventive step against a possible revisionist inquiry into the matter, the authors inform us that in 1923 Otto Frank had founded, in Frankfurt, a bank called "M. Frank and Sons". The three men at the head of this firm were Herbert and Otto Frank and ... this detail is of some importance for the story of the Anne Frank diary ... one Johannes Kleiman, a man who appears in the book under the name of Koophuis and who, after the war, was to act as an informer against the "collaborators" for the Dutch "Political Criminal Investigation Department" (R.I.O.D., p. 30-31), not to be confused with the "Supervisory Board for Political Offenders" (Ibid., p. 34). Already before Adolf Hitler's accession to power, this bank had found itself implicated in certain crooked operations. A trial was held at which Herbert, the top man, preferred not to appear. He fled the country, finding refuge in France. As for Otto Frank, the R.I.O.D. authorities do not tell us anything clear about what happened to him. They go only so far as to inform us that the documents relating to the court case have gone missing and that this is "altogether regrettable" (p. 4), an observation which lends a somewhat dubious aspect to the disappearance. In any event, if he fled to Holland in 1933, it was perhaps in order to evade German justice.
Before engaging in a certain form of literary swindling, had father Frank become involved in financial swindling? During the war, thanks to various subterfuges and the support of his three main partners, all Aryans, he had had the satisfaction of seeing his two firms make money in their dealings with, among other concerns, a Dutch mainstay of the Dresdner Bank. It can be said that, even during his time in hospital at Auschwitz, his Amsterdam business carried on under the supervision of his associate Jan Gies. Back in Amsterdam after the war he had a brush with the Dutch legal authorities, who were so very attentive to matters of economic collaboration with Germany during the Occupation. But an arrangement, we are told, was found. (p. 55-56).
Worthless evidence and doubtful witnesses?
The R.I.O.D. authors are harsh towards the evidence and witnesses exploited by father Frank.
To begin, they consider that the three expert analyses on which father Frank based his claim of the diary's authenticity are devoid of any value (p. 88-90). Let us recall that those analyses, of which I myself had revealed the absurdity, had nonetheless received, in the 1960s, the endorsement of the German judges who were thus able to convict those who, before me, had cast doubt upon this alleged authenticity. Still with regard to the authors at the R.I.O.D., the book by Ernst Schnabel, Spur eines Kindes (published in English under the title Anne Frank: a portrait in courage), which father Frank had enthusiastically advised me to read and which also served to defend his argument, draws the following appraisal:
Since [his book] contains various errors, all quotations from it should be treated with reservation (p. 19, n. 41).
As for father Frank's star witness, the all-too renowned Miep Gies, it is an understatement to say that, on certain vital points of her testimony, she does not inspire great confidence at the R.I.O.D.; the same goes for Kugler (p. 36- 45).
The R.I.O.D. fiasco
All things considered, the book is a disaster for Otto Frank and for his experts, friends and those who have vouched for him. Manifestly, father Frank's cause has been deemed indefensible. But, by cutting away the deadwood in an attempt to preserve the tree, that is, by sacrificing father Frank's good name in order to save that of his daughter's alleged diary, the purging writers at the R.I.O.D. have found themselves facing a kind of nothingness. Only a questionable "handwriting analysis" emerges from it all, which, for that matter, is all the more laughable as, a few years after the publication of their book in 1986, other samples of the girl's writing appeared on the open market of personal letters and postcards. These samples, which seem to me to be genuine, have rendered worthless the R.I.O.D. book's laborious analyses. In any case, the experts' work must now be reviewed from beginning to end.
Finally, I shall add that this big book contains no plan of the house where, for more than two years, the eight persons allegedly lived in hiding. The previous editions of the diary did carry such a plan, on which I had commented and which I compared with the house as I found it. This examination gave me an argument with which to prove the fictitious nature of the whole account. The authors of the "scholarly" edition chose to abstain from showing any house plan. This was an admission and another dodging of reality on their part.
In short, beneath its display of learning the R.I.O.D. edition is a fiasco.
The "new standard edition" of 1991 (Mirjam Pressler)
In the wake of the publication of this "scholarly" edition it was only fitting to issue, for the general readership, a "standard" edition in order to replace the one which father Frank had brought out in 1947. There was a real need, in effect, to repair the damage caused by the abusive father and which the R.I.O.D. had denounced. A certain Mirjam Pressler was put in charge of the job and, in 1991, there appeared a Dutch-language revised (herziene) and enlarged (vermeerderde) edition, presented as conforming fundamentally to what Anne Frank had written. This edition was described as "definitive". In 1995 the English translation appeared in paperback, and it too was presented as "definitive".
An anomaly, if not a piece of deceptive advertising, appeared right on the title page, where the editor had had the audacity to put: "The definitive edition [...] established by Otto H. Frank and Mirjam Pressler". Having died in 1980, father Frank could hardly have collaborated with M. Pressler on her 1991 work which, moreover, was for him a posthumous snub. I shall venture to state that never has a paperback book been so laden with confused explanations on its title page and introductory page, in its foreword, in the pages of the "note on the present edition" and, finally, in its afterword. One can barely make head or tail of it all. The editor's unease is patent. Obviously he did not know just how to convey to the reader that this new Anne Frank diary was ... this time, once and for all ... the genuine Anne Frank diary.
We are told that this M. Pressler is "a popular, prize-winning writer of books for young readers and a well-known translator" and that she lives in Germany. But we are not told what method she may have followed in order to put together this text, using as her source the three texts of the "critical edition". How did she decide on her choices? What was her reasoning when keeping one fragment and discarding another? These questions remain unanswered.
I am not alone in noticing these irregularities. Even among the aficionados of the mythical figure of Anne Frank this odd Pressler edition is sometimes decried, and in forceful terms. Writing in the British monthly Prospect, Nicolas Walter devotes three columns to its English version. His article bears a title with a double meaning: "Not completely Frank" (4). He observes that the amalgamation of the three versions (the old translation and the two new ones) leaves us "with the result that all sorts of distortions and discrepancies remain". He adds:
The English version is said to be "basically... as she wrote it," which is not true, and it is described as the "definitive editionì, which is nonsense.
He goes on to write that this "standard" version is indeed "about one third longer" than the old "standard" version, but notes:
...it is still an eclectic conflation of A and B [i.e., the first two versions of the "critical edition"], and it is marred by errors and omissions; many passages are in the wrong places and several passages are missing.
N. Walter concludes by asking whether Anne Frank's memory "should
not... be properly served by a satisfactory reading edition of
her diary after half a century."
The afterword by Isabelle Rosselin-Bobulesco
The new "standard" edition, in its 1992 French version, includes an afterword by Isabelle Rosselin-Bobulesco which, unhappily, is absent from the English version. It of course defends the argument according to which the "scholarly" edition closed the case of the controversy about the Anne Frank diary's authenticity, which, as can be seen, amounts to wishful thinking. Still, I should recommend a reading of the part devoted to "The authenticity of the Diary" and, in particular, pages 348-349, where my own position is sketched out almost forthrightly and where reasons for doubting that authenticity, which were inspired by father Frank's behaviour, are mentioned. I regret only that, at least in the passage that I shall offer here, these reasons are presented as if it were a matter of obvious things on which everyone agreed. In reality it was, for the most part, my 1978 analysis which had brought to light all that follows in the extract below and all that which, at the time, had earned me the attacks which, as can be seen today, were slanderous. Here I yield the floor to I. Rosselin-Bobulesco, underlining some of her words:
At his death, Otto Frank bequeathed all of Anne's writings to the Netherlands State Institute of War Documentation, the R.I.O.D. In the face of the assaults calling the authenticity of the diary into question, the R.I.O.D. considered that, in view of the Diary's quasi-symbolic aspect and historical interest, it became indispensable to allay the doubts. We know that inaccuracies were not lacking. The diary was written in several notebooks and on loose-leaf. Anne Frank herself had drafted two versions. There had been several typed versions that did not entirely follow the original text. Modifications, additions, or removals had been effected by her father. Besides, corrections had been introduced by persons whom Otto Frank had asked to reread the diary, lest his own insufficient knowledge of Dutch prevent a proper weeding out of his daughter's mistakes in spelling and grammar. Furthermore, the Dutch editor himself had also modified the text by removing certain passages of a sexual character, deemed at the time to be too shocking, those in which Anne speaks of her menstrual periods, for example. As for the different translations, they showed disparities [between them]. In the German translation there appeared inaccuracies, certain passages had been suppressed so as not to offend the German reader. The translation had been made from a typewritten text which was not the definitive text that had served as the basis for [the original book in Dutch]. In the American edition, certain passages that had been removed from the Dutch version had, on the contrary, been reinserted. Several expert analyses of the handwritten text had taken place, several lawsuits had been brought, in response to the attacks against the diary. Never had there emerged a clear picture of the situation, even if the outcome of the court cases and of the inquiries upheld Otto Frank.
I. Rosselin-Bobulesco may well minimise the reality of the facts and present the matter to us in the colours of her choice: this passage still makes it apparent that I was perfectly well founded in not believing either the text of the alleged Anne Frank diary or the replies made to my questions by Otto Frank.
The judgement pronounced against me on 9 December 1998, in Amsterdam
Still, on 9 December 1998, a court in Amsterdam found a way to rule against me for my analysis of the diary of Anne Frank. I had drafted it twenty years earlier for a German court and, from 1980, it had been published in France and in a number of other countries without prompting any legal action.
But, in the Netherlands, it will not do to lay an impious hand on the icon of Saint Anne Frank.
The intrepid Siegfried Verbeke had translated my 1978 study into Dutch-Flemish, publishing it in a 1991 brochure entitled "The ëDiary' of Anne Frank: a critical approach" (Het 'Dagboek' van Anne Frank: een kritische benadering). For his part, S. Verbeke had presented my text with a preface that was certainly revisionist in character but altogether moderate in tone. Two associations then brought a lawsuit against us: one from Amsterdam (the Anne Frank Foundation), the other from Basle (the Anne Frank Fund). These organisations are known for the ruthless war that they wage against each other over the corpse of Anne Frank and the remains of the late father Frank but here, in the face of danger to their identical financial interests, they decided to make common cause. It must be said that an enormous business has grown up around Anne Frank's name, a veritable "industry" as N. Walter calls it.
The plaintiffs claimed, in particular, that the work gave "negative publicity" to their associations, with unpleasant financial results. For example, the Anne Frank Foundation revealed that it had to spend time and money to combat the brochure's harmful effect. My own information leads me to believe, indeed, that the personnel of Anne Frank House receive a kind of special training, enabling them to give better replies to the queries or arguments of certain visitors on whom a reading of S. Verbeke and R. Faurisson may have had an effect. The Foundation added:
Moreover, the statements in the brochure may in the long term cause the number of visitors to Anne Frank House to diminish, with Anne Frank House's management finding itself in difficulties as a result.
In its holding, the court did not fail to adopt, as its own, the plaintiffs' reflections on "the symbolic function which Anne Frank has acquired" and on the decidedly perverse nature of the revisionists Verbeke and Faurisson. Relying solely on the handwriting analysis requested by the R.I.O.D., it declared that it was impossible to call into question the authenticity of the work attributed to Anne Frank. It added:
Towards the victims of the Holocaust and their surviving relatives, the remarks [of S.V. and R.F.] are hurtful and needlessly offensive. It follows inescapably that they cause [the survivors] psychological or emotional injury.
I had infringed copyright!
The most staggering part of the ruling was that in which the court held that I had personally breached the law on copyright by quoting numerous extracts of the Anne Frank diary. It ruled, without citing evidence, that "the quotations [in pages 36 - 39 of the brochure] are removed from their context in an unwarranted manner". Here it was a question of the very beginning of my analysis, that is, the parts which I had numbered from 4 to 10 and where, with a salvo of very short quotations, I listed the manifold physical or material impossibilities in the "diary". Quite obviously, neither father Frank nor anyone else has ever found a reply to this. But that court in Amsterdam found, if not the reply, then at least the way out: for it, my quotations are not to be taken into account, for, apparently, they infringe copyright.
In my long experience of the law courts, in France and abroad, I have had occasion to witness a good deal of baseness, of sophistry, of contortions, of warping of the truth, and of all sorts of ploys by judges but I believe that this Amsterdam court, in its decision of 9 December 1998, overstepped the limits of decency in rebuking me for having, in a textual analysis, repeatedly made use of quotations. Not one of those quotations, incidentally, was removed from its context. On the contrary, with painstaking diligence, I had, I believe, shown care to look over as closely as possible all the words of the text proper, then to put back those same words in their most direct context. But it is likely that the court understood the word "context" in the flexible sense, too often lent to it, of "historical, sociological, psychological etc. context". There, of course, the court mixed in its personal and subjective views of the history or psychology of an Anne Frank whom it had conceived in line with its own imagination without paying the slightest heed to the words which, one by one, constituted a work called the diary of Anne Frank.
A judgement reached with the help of the French police and justice system
S. Verbeke and I were ordered to pay the heavy court costs and the sale of our book was banned in the Netherlands on pain of a fine of 25,000 Dutch guilders per day per copy displayed in public.
Let us add, for the record, that the plaintiffs had the long arm of the law on their side. From Amsterdam, they had got the French police to visit me at home in Vichy, had me called in for questioning at the station, and sent me bailiffs with court orders and formal demands. The French justice ministry's Service civil de l'entraide judiciaire internationale, with the French taxpayer footing the bill, had thus engaged in active teamwork with the Dutch police.
A field of research for computer cognoscenti
In 1978, I had not had the chance to use the resources offered by the computer. I had had to study, by dint of sedulous effort, the Anne Frank diary with pen in hand, go looking for certain words which, at times, were far removed from one another,"cut and paste" them with scissors and glue and count them up on my fingers. Hence there occurred errors of detail on my part which, afterwards, in later editions, I have sometimes managed to correct. I am aware of the imperfection of the end result as it stands today. I hope that, in future, those who are adept with computers will take up my analysis and revise it on those points.
With the four R.I.O.D. volumes (one each in Dutch, German, French and English), a superb field of research opens up for such people. Already, with the old versions in Dutch, German (two German versions!) and French, I had been able to demonstrate the existence, as it were, of different Anne Franks, irreconcilable with each other, as well as the existence of contradictory accounts. Today, with so many further versions, issued by the R.I.O.D. and by M. Pressler, those skilled in the use of computers should find it possible to take apart, bit by bit ... and better than I had done ... the literary forgery.
For the same can be said of the "diary" of Anne Frank as of any imposture: the more someone strives to defend it, the more arguments he provides, in spite of himself, that discredit it. In other words, by shielding a lie, one becomes ensnared in one's own lies. To take but one example dear to revisionists, the fallacious character of Kurt Gerstein's so-called testimony is laid bare just as well by analysis of a single version of it as by comparison with other, contradictory versions.
But let us be practical: to begin at the beginning of this new job of analysing the Anne Frank "diary", I suggest that a team of researchers with good computer skills, all possessing a good knowledge of Dutch and German, undertake a comparative study of the following:
At a later stage, it will still be permissible to carry out
an analysis of the different French and English versions and then,
to settle the matter for good, there can be a comparison of the
ten or so Anne Franks who emerge from all the Dutch versions and
Only then, whatever the profiteers who have exploited her memory for so long may have to say about it, will justice finally be done to the one, the genuine Anne Frank, who never wrote this "cock-and-bull story" called, in 1953, Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl (5), re-christened, in 1986-1989, after renovation and make-shift repairs, The Diary of Anne Frank / The Critical Edition before ending up being called, in 1995 (for English readers), following much patching-up and facade work, The Diary of a Young Girl / the definitive edition (6), by "Anne Frank".
Post-scriptum: On pages 94-95 of the R.I.O.D. edition, David Barnouw announces his claim to have summed up what he is willing to call my analysis. He does so not without insinuating that I am a trickster.
Of all my material or physical arguments, he retains only one, that of the loud noises. Then, of all these, he retains only three. He claims that, in these three cases, I hid the fact that Anne Frank had specified that, since the "enemies" were not there, there was no risk of the noises' being heard. My reply is that the nearby "enemies" (for example, the two shop assistants) were perhaps not there but the other "enemies", of indefinite number, could perceive those noises: that of the vacuum cleaner, every day at 12.30 p.m., as well as the "endless peals of laughter" or "a doomsday racket". D. Barnouw is much distressed at having to explain these noises and a number of others, sometimes dreadfully loud, in a dwelling where there should have reigned the stillness of the grave. Also, in order to spare himself any effort, he has resorted to subterfuge by way of considerations that are as vague as they are murky. He in fact writes:
From the diary it appears that the inhabitants of the Annexe, too, had to brave many dangers, not least the chance that they might make too much noise and be overheard. Faurisson, however, did not examine the overall picture of life in hiding in any depth, or concern himself greatly in this context with the fact that the Frank family and their fellow fugitives were in the end arrested (p. 94).
D. Barnouw thus holds forth with a pathos that allows him shamelessly to conclude: "Given the above extract [of Faurisson's analysis of the matter of noise], we have no need to subject all the examples mentioned by Faurisson to review" (p. 95). As I see it this last remark well proves that the R.I.O.D. authorities, by their own admission, have not wished to "submit to review" an essential part of my analysis, that which concerns the physical or material impossibilities of the account.
There is another point in regard to which D. Barnouw insinuates that I am dishonest. On page 261 of Serge Thion's book, I had mentioned my discovery, during an inquiry into the circumstances of the arrest of the eight fugitives in Amsterdam on 4 August 1944, of an especially interesting witness. I wrote:
This witness [in 1978] made us promise, myself and the person accompanying me, not to divulge her name. I gave her my word to keep it secret. I shall only half keep my promise. The importance of her testimony is such that it seems to me to be impossible to pass over it in silence. This witness's name and address, together with the name and address of the person accompanying me, are recorded [on a paper] in a sealed envelope contained in my "Appendix no. 2: Confidential" [for submission to the court in Hamburg].
D. Barnouw begins by quoting these lines but not without eliminating the sentence which revealed the reason for my discretion: the witness had made us promise ... that was the word ... not to name her. Then, the same D. Barnouw adds deceitfully:
A photograph of this sealed envelope is printed as an appendix to Faurisson's "investigation," albeit only in the French version of 1980; the publisher of the Dutch version had the sense to leave out this piece of evidence (p. 96).
In other words I had, according to D. Barnouw, fooled my readers, leading them to believe, by means of this alleged trick, that the envelope in reality contained no names. For D. Barnouw, either this envelope never existed, or else it was empty. The truth is that I had indeed submitted to the court in Hamburg an envelope containing the names and addresses of the two persons in question. Today, 22 years on, I believe myself justified in divulging these names, which are known to the court: they are those of Mme Karl Silberbauer and Ernst Wilmersdorf, both of whom lived in Vienna.
I shall take advantage of this occasion to reveal the names of three French academics of whom it is said on page 299 of the book by S. Thion that they agreed with my findings concerning the alleged diary of Anne Frank. The first was none other than the professor of literature Michel Le Guern, who at the time was lecturing at the University of Lyon-2 and who has recently published, in the prestigious collection "BibliothËque de la Pléiade", a scholarly edition of Blaise Pascal's Pensées; it would be hard to think of a more proficient authority in literary analysis. The closing sentence of his 1978 written testimony reads as follows:
It is certain that the conventions of literary exchange authorise Mr Frank, or anyone else, to put together as many fictitious personae of Anne Frank as he may wish, but on condition that he not identify any of these fictional beings as the real Anne Frank.
Two other academics were about to come to a similar conclusion when suddenly, in November 1978, the "affaire Faurisson" exploded in the press. They were Frédéric Deloffre and Jacques Rougeot, both professors at the University of Paris IV-Sorbonne.
Today these three men are all retired. That is why I have decided to reveal their names. But I had not, in any case, made any undertaking of confidentiality in regard to them.
1/ Serge Thion, Vérité historique ou vérité politique ?, Paris, La Vieille Taupe, 1980. In 1989, 1993 and 1995, respectively, I wrote three texts dealing with a work which claimed to disprove my findings. The three pieces may be found in my Ecrits révisionnistes 1974 - 1998, edited privately and for restricted distribution by myself in 1999: p. 856-859, 1551-1552, 1655-1656. As for the book by my opponents, see below (R.I.O.D.).
2/ Interview in Regards, weekly of the Centre communautaire juif of Brussels, 7 November 1980, p. 11.
3/ From the afterword as it appeared in the English edition of 1989, p. 166. The German and French translations were published in 1988 and 1989 respectively. I have in my possession the four bulky works, that is, the Dutch original and the three translations. Comparisons between them reveal some odd differences.
4/ Prospect, August - September 1997, p. 75. Prospect is aimed at an intellectual and academic readership.
5/ First published in 1947 in Holland by Contact, Amsterdam, under the title Het Achterhuis ("The House in Back").
6/ Doubleday, New York; translated by Susan Massotty.
First published in Italian by Graphos, in Genova, 2000.
French original text in Archive Faurisson in French.
We believe useful to add comments of what the Amsterdam court finally said:
Judgment of the Amsterdam Court of Appeal (27 April 2000) :
authenticity of the DIARY OF ANNE FRANK, as presented for publication by
the girl's father, may be queried, provided this is done with due respect.
In 1991, in a brochure analysing the said diary, SIEGFRIED VERBEKE had
published in Dutch translation an expeert opinion written in 1978 by ROBERT
After two organisations had lodged complaints, the Amsterdam Court found
that the Diary was in fact genuine and that, consequently, the brochure
should be banned.
S. Verbeke challenged this finding but the Amsterdam Court of Appeal has
just upheld it, altough the reasons for so doing were altered. The Court
now states that it is NOT within the competence of judges to offer an
opinion on the authenticity of the Diary and that, in principle, S. Verbeke
and R. Faurisson are acting within their rigths to query its authenticity.
However, the two authors have done so in a manner offensive to the memory
of the girl's father and/or to those who cherish the memory of Anne Frank :
furthermore, and more IMPORTANTLY, they have placed their critical analysis
within the framework of an INADMISSIBLE challenge, namely, a REVISIONIST
challenge of the holocaust.
This judgment, therefore, permits ON CERTAIN CONDITIONS a re-examination
(previously forbidden in the Netherlands) of the authenticity of the Anne
Frank Diary in the version produced after 1947 by the girl's father, Otto
S. Verbeke and R. Faurisson have therefore had judgment delivered against
them because of the FORM taken by their critical analysis, and NOT (as
requested and initially obtained by the plaintiffs) because of the CONTENT.
AMSTERDAM COURT OF JUSTICE DISMISSES CLAIMS OF ANNE FRANK FOUNDATIONS AGAINST FLEMISH-BELGIAN REVISIONIST
OTTO FRANK DID NOT PUBLISH ANNE'S AUTHENTIC DIARY
HALF OF HER AUTHENTIC DIARY DOESN'T EXIST ANYMORE
After Professor em. Robert FAURISSON had queried the authenticity of the
ANNE FRANK DIARY in the book « Vérité Historique ou Vérité politique ? »
(« Historical or political Truth ? »), published in 1980 by « La Vieille
Taupe » in Paris, the Flemish-Belgian revisionist « Foundation for Free
Historical Research » (« Vrij Historisch Onderzoek » - V.H.O.) published a
After the death of Otto Frank in 1980, the manuscript came into the
possession of « RIOD » in the Netherlands (« Rijks Instituut voor
Oorlogsdocumentatie » -- « National Institute for War Documentation). In
1986 « RIOD » published « The Diaries of Anne Frank » (alternative title :
the critical edition), in which an attempt was made to refute Robert
In 1991 the Foundation for Free Historical Research published a second
edition of Faurisson's essay in which Siegfried VERBEKE commented on the
RIOD conclusions. These comments, entitlled « Het Dagboek van Anne Frank :
een kritische benadering » (« Anne Frank"s Diary : a critical approach »)
were circulated in Dutch libraries and schools.
On 9 December 1998, seven years later, the Anne Frank Foundation in
Amsterdam and The Anne Frank Foundation in Basel lodged complaint with the
Amsterdam Court of Justice under two headings. The said foundations
- That the Court should, in an affidavit, declare the Anne Frank
Diary to be authentic (or to be almost certainly authentic), and the
defendants (...) to be acting unlawfully by casting doubt on its
authenticity in the (insufficiently substantiated) manner, demonstrated in
their pamphlet. (...)
- That the Court should forbid the defendants (Ö) to circulate their
pamphlet (Ö) or any other material with comparable content (Ö), a penalty
of 25.000 HFL to be paid for each contravention.
In this matter, the two Anne Frank Foundations relied entirely on the RIOD
The judge in the first instance also relied on the said excellent work and
found in both points in favour of the plaintiffs, passing sentence on
9.12.1998 on all the defendants, namely Siegfried VERBEKE, Robert FAURISSON
and the FOUNDATION FOR FREE HISTORICAL RESEARCH, as requested by the
Nota bene :
The written defence provided by Siegfried VERBEKE was declared to be not
valid because in Dutch law a suspect party may not act in his/her defence
but has to employ a lawyer.
Siegfried VERBEKE appealed against this decision, pleading inter alia that,
according to Art. 6.3 of the European Declaration of Human Rigths, any
suspect party is entitled to act in his/her own defence without legal
assistance. On the occasion of appeal his plea was incorporated into that
of a lawyer and accepted as valid counsel.
The Belgian-Flemish revisionist was able to demonstrate from the text of
the RIOD edition that more than half of the authentic diary of Anne Frank
had been lost (or destroyed by Anne herself), and, consequently, that Otto
Frank could NOT have published, or have been ABLE to publish an « authentic
diary ». What he in fact had published was Anne Frank's novel « Het
Achterhuis » (« The Annexe »), which he (Otto) subtitled as « Notes of a
The defendant requested the Court to reverse the first verdict.
On 27 april 2000 THE JUDGMENT OF THE COURT IN FIRST INSTANCE WAS
RE-VERSED, AND THE COURT OF HIGHER APPEAL REJECTED THE PLEA OF
THE PLAINTIFFS THAT THE AUTHENTICITY OF THE DIARY SHOULD BE
CONFIRMED IN AN AFFIDAVIT.
The grounds for reversal were as follows :
- 6.14. This Court is of the opinion that the only possible
conclusion to be drawn from the RIOD publication is that the Forensic
Laboratory has good cause to believe that the manuscripts (...) were written
by the same person (Anne Frank) who wrote the material used for comparison
of the texts, and furthermore, that Otto Frank has faithfully reproduced
the texts of the diaries and the loose sheets in his typescript.
(SV comments : this argument does not go to the heart of the matter,
indeed, SV agreed as much in his defence statement. Otto Frank may well
have COPIED the loose sheets faithfully, but it was the novel « Het
Achterhuis/The Annexe » that was contained in the loose sheets and NOT the
- 6.15. This does not mean that all discussion of the authenticity of
the Anne Frank Diary is now definitely at an end. No one, and this includes
Verbeke, can be denied the rigth to have doubts about facts and
circumstances which may appear proven to others, and to express these
doubts when the occasion arises. In such a case the rigths contained in
article 9 EVRM (freedom of thougth) and in article 10 (freedom of
expression) must be our only guide.
- 6.16. (...) Expressions of opinion which cause other people
unnecessary distress, represent however an unlawful infringement of the
rigths and freedoms of others and are therefore unacceptable.
- 6.17. By raising doubts as to the authenticity of the diary within
the context of REVISIONISM (...), the feelings of many people are grievously
hurt. By so doing, the brochure far exceeds the limits of what is
acceptable within the framework of freedom of espression.
- 6.18. Furthermore, it must be stated that the passages from the
brochure, referred to in the judgment which is now the subject of appeal
(under 1 sub I, 1 till 14), are considered to be unnecessarily offensive to
Otto Frank. These statements besmirch the memory of Otto Frank with malice
aforethougth, and therefore they sully the honour and the good name of the
AFF as well.
(S.V. comments : 1 sub I till 14 : choice of words and quotes by both
Faurisson and Verbeke)
- 6.19. In other words, the Court is of the opinion that Verbeke has
acted unlawfully by casting doubts on the authenticity of the Anne Frank
Diary IN THE WAY, DEMONSTRATED IN HIS BROCHURE.
(S.V. comments : it is NOT THE DENIAL of authenticity as such that is
unlawful, but the WAY IN WHICH IT IS DENIED ...)
- 6.23. (...) Verbeke has come to the conclusion that RIOD version A is
authentic and that RIOD version C (the typescript of Otto Frank, as
published by Contact/Bakker) has been incorrectly described as authentic in
the RIOD edition.
- 6.24. The objections do not help Verbeke since they do not go to
the core of the matter. Verbeke is apparently unaware that this Court is
NOT CONCERNED WITH JUDGING THE CONTENT of the RIOD edition, but only
wishes to establish whether the brochure unlawfully infringes the rigths
and freedoms of others (...)
(S.V. comments : I'm apparently not enough analphabetic to state that the
plaintiffs DID REQUEST the Court to judge the CONTENT, and used the RIOD
edition as a major argument.)
- 6.26. ...) This Court is not in point of fact concerned with the
authenticity of the manuscripts which were entrusted to Otto Frank after
the war and which have been examined by the Forensic Laboratory : it wishes
to establish whether the authenticity of the manuscripts may be
queried IN THE WAY THAT THIS IS DONE IN THE BROCHURE.
(S.V. makes the same comment as in the case of 6.24.)
- 6.33. The objections to the ban on circulation are justified
inasmuch as this ban does not rely on the above mentioned affidavit. The
Court will therefore formulate the ban anew, with specific reference to
Verbeke, as shall appear hereinafter.
- 7.2. The ban on circulation, as published by the Court, IS SET
ASIDE : the Court will RE-WORD it and publish another ban.
- 8. DECISION.
- the Court sets aside the second part of the judgement (...) and inasmuch as
it is making a fresh judgement,
- the Court forbids Verbeke to circulate (...) the brochure or any
material in which the authenticity of the diary is queried, AS HAS BEEN
DONE IN THE BROCHURE.
The difference is this :
- The first judgement banned publication of the brochure, together
with any other material of comparable content, because authenticity was
considered to have been proven.
- The judgement in the Appeal Court bans the brochure and any other
material in which authenticity is queried, if this is done in the same way
as in the brochure.
In other words : this may not be done within the framework of REVISIONISM
and of QUERYING THE HOLOCAUST, and it may also not be done, using words and
phrases like those passages which were quoted by the first judge under
ZGram -- January 11, 2000. By Ingrid Rimland
First displayed on aaargh: 17 April 2001.
This text has been displayed on the Net, and forwarded to you as a tool for educational purpose, further research, on a non commercial and fair use basis, by the International Secretariat of the Association des Anciens Amateurs de Recits de Guerres et d'Holocaustes (AAARGH). The E-mail of the Secretariat is <[email protected]. Mail can be sent at PO Box 81475, Chicago, IL 60681-0475, USA..
We see the act of displaying a written document on Internet as the equivalent to displaying it on the shelves of a public library. It costs us a modicum of labor and money. The only benefit accrues to the reader who, we surmise, thinks by himself. A reader looks for a document on the Web at his or her own risks. As for the author, there is no reason to suppose that he or she shares any responsibilty for other writings displayed on this Site. Because laws enforcing a specific censorship on some historical question apply in various countries (Germany, France, Israel, Switzerland, Canada, and others) we do not ask their permission from authors living in thoses places: they wouldn't have the freedom to consent.
We believe we are protected by the Human Rights Charter:
ARTICLE 19. <Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.>The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 10, 1948, in Paris.