ANNE Frank’s Second World War diary of her years hiding in Nazi-occupied Holland is possibly the world’s most famous account of the conflict.
Now, an academic from Liverpool has uncovered historic records indicating that Otto Frank, Anne’s father, could conceivably have moved his wife Edith, Anne, and her sister Margot to Norton Fitzwarren before the war’s outbreak.
And if he had, the Franks could have escaped the conflict, and Anne would never have written her diary.
Dr Bryce Evans works at the Liverpool Hope University in tandem with the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam.
He told the County Gazette: “Otto had English businesses, which the House has researched into.
“But the British Library has thrown up this other company, called Applam Fruit Products Ltd, in Norton Fitzwarren.
“It seems Otto had an interest in the firm, which at the time was being liquidated, and he travelled to Taunton on business connected with it.
“In 1937 he comes to Taunton, stays at the Railway Hotel, and takes control of the company.” Unfortunately, however, the business failed due to a complicated lease arrangement with the machinery.
Dr Evans continues: “Because of the timing, had the business not failed, it’s very conceivable that Anne Frank would have spent the war in Taunton.
“Otto would have relocated his family from the Netherlands.
It wouldn’t have been a great leap of the imagination – I’m sure she would have been anonymous if that were the case, and survived the war.”
“Otto is kind of the king pin in her story. Without him, Anne’s diary would never have been published.”
“Altogether, these sources explain a lot about Otto Frank’s business dealings – and their failure – in the UK during the 1930s.
“There are still questions, however but, perhaps in collaboration, we can find answers.”
Contact Dr Evans via email on email@example.com