Brisbane Daily Courier, December 12, 1998
Court declares diary authentic
By MIKE CORDER
A DUTCH court yesterday outlawed claims that Anne Frank's famed diary was a forgery written by her father after World War II.
The decision was hailed as a landmark legal victory by the Anne Frank Foundation, which has its headquarters in the Amsterdam canal house-turned-museum where the young Jewish diarist and her family hid from the Nazis.
"It is a very important step," said the foundation's executive director, Hans Westra.
Amsterdam District Court ruled that anyone found guilty of denying the diary's authenticity can be fined 25,000 guilders ($A21,225).
The ruling was based on the foundation's complaint against a revisionist book by French author Robert Faurisson called Anne Frank, a Critical Approach, which describes the diary as a fake created by Anne's father, Otto Frank.
The book was published by a group run by Belgian extreme right-wing figure Siegfried Verbeke.
"Today we have a very principled ruling from the Dutch court that the diary is authentic and that it is forbidden to abuse Mr Frank," Mr Westra said.
At a hearing in August, Verbeke said he would no longer distribute or publish the book, but added that it was already available on the Internet.
Neither Verbeke nor Faurisson, a former literature professor who is well known in France for his Holocaust denials. was present in court for the ruling. Westra conceded that cyberspace is a fertile ground for revisionist ideas, and said the foundation was investigating whether measures could be taken to eradicate such publications from the Internet.
The Diary of Anne Frank documents the difficulties she and her endured while hiding from the Nazis in a secret annexe hidden by a movable bookcase from July 1942 until they were captured in autumn of 1944. Frank died of typhus in the Bergen-Belsen camp just weeks before it was liberated in the spring of 1945, and her diary was published posthumously. It has become an international bestseller, translate into more than 50 languages--Associated Press