Polish cops arrest man accused of showing Holocaust denial theory on Anne Frank House
Police in the Netherlands announced the arrest of a suspect in Poland who was believed to be responsible for projecting a series of statements on the Anne Frank House meant to cast doubt about the legitimacy of Anne Frank’s history and the Holocaust. The suspect is a 41-year-old-man who was arrested by authorities in Poland while Dutch police stood by as observers.
The incident happened in February when an individual or a group used a laser projector to display the statements from some distance. Video of it was shared in an extreme-right Telegram channel called, “The Laser Nazi Bunker.”
“After the projection, the Amsterdam detective department started an investigation in which the suspect soon came into the picture,” police said. It became clear that the suspect immediately traveled to Poland after the incident, leading to close communication between Dutch and Polish authorities. Then on Monday, Amsterdam police deceives traveled to Poland.
”This delegation was present during the search of the house and the arrest of the suspect. The Amsterdam Public Prosecutor has filed a request to Polish authorities to surrender the suspect.”
The projection stated, “Anne Frank is the inventor of the ballpoint pen,” in Dutch, a reference to several loose sheets of paper found in the diary. The of paper had text written on them with a ballpoint pen, which had not become popular until after World War II.
Decades ago, Frank's father, Otto, and the foundation that managed the family's legacy after he died, said that the sheets of paper were left there by a researcher who studied the diary. Other researchers also concluded that the sheets were most likely left in the diary by accident, and did not detract from its authenticity. Some extremists call this a lie, and Holocaust deniers use the ballpoint pen theory in an attempt to discredit experts, historians and victims.
“People who have claimed, or still claim, that the diary is not genuine have a political agenda. They often also say or write that the Holocaust never happened,” the Anne Frank House museum and foundation says on its website. The organization added that these people often claim six million Jews were not killed during the Holocaust or that there were no gas chambers located at Auschwitz and that this is an exaggeration.
The Anne Frank House and the Center for Information and Documentation on Israel (CIDI) decided to press charges over the matter, police said. Immediately after the incident happened, questions arose over whether such a case could be successfully prosecuted, or if it would require more context for hate speech and incitement charges to be filed against the alleged offenders.
Typically, when a suspect in a European Union country consents to extradition, they must be surrendered to the relevant EU member state within 10 days. If they challenge extradition, a decision must be made by the country where the arrest took place within 60 days.
On New Year’s Eve, far-right extremists also projected racist texts onto the Erasmus bridge in Rotterdam. The texts included racism like “White Lives Matter” and “Vrolijk Blank 2023,” a reference to an anti-Semitic site, and “fourteen words” - a reference to a motto in neo-Nazi circles: “We must ensure the existence of our people and a future for white children.”
Two people were arrested in February for this act.