Court bans questions on Anne Frank veracity
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - A Dutch court on Wednesday slapped a ban on all publications questioning the authenticity of Jewish teenager Anne Frank's wartime diary, saying they insulted and offended Jews.
The case, brought by Amsterdam's Anne Frank Foundation and the Anne Frank Fund in Basle, stems from the unsolicited distribution to Dutch libraries in 1992 of a book alleging Frank's father Otto was the real writer of her journal, which chronicles her family's years in hiding from the Nazis.
Frank and her family lived secretly in the cramped back rooms of an Amsterdam canal house for several years until their betrayal and arrest in 1944. She and her sister Margot and their mother later died in a concentration camp.
The court ruled on Wednesday that Frank's diary should be seen as authentic and that it was unlawful to cast doubts on its veracity.
It ruled that the publisher and authors of the book in question, "Anne Frank: a critical approach" were banned from distributing the book or any material of a similar content on pain of a 25,000 guilder fine per breach.
"The Anne Frank Foundation welcomes the court's judgement that the denial of the diary's authenticity and the accusations directed at Otto Frank are insulting and hurtful to Jews in general and to the Anne Frank Foundation and...Fund in particular," the foundation said in a statement.
It said the book, by Frenchman Robert Faurisson and Belgian Siegfried Verbeke, had been published by a Belgian publisher specialising in so-called 'revisionist' literature which questions whether the Holocaust really happened.
Similar trials have been held in Germany, the statement said.