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Forgeries, Denials and the Facts in-between

Confronting false charges made against Anne Frank's diary and the "infiltration" of Indymedia
The following letter and reply (by Michael Rivero) were copied verbatim from WRH:

Thu Jan 16 2003

I agree, I never gave much thought to the authenticity of Holocaust claims, but the echoing anti-Semitism chants, the Holocaust in Space(Jewish Astronaut) stuff, the whole we're such victims has caused me to start looking into it, as the only thing I have in life is my own mind, my own beliefs. Looking into the claims, the shear numbers involved require some sophisticated mathematics - it would take a genius among geniuses to work out the complexities of managing an atrocity on such a scale.

Just as a start. 6 million victims of the Holocaust gassed, cremated, disposed of. Starting in late 1938 and ending in early-mid 1945. Now I assume, for my own ease, a 1-1-1938 starting date and a 12-31-1945 ending date. Which we will call 2920 days (8 years - 365 days a year). Which means 2054.79 Jews gassed, cremated, and disposed of every day for 2920 days. An amazing number, which would cripple an armies battle capabilities when considering the time to capture, transport, execute, and dispose of so many people daily. The cost of poison gas, the cost of gas to cremate. Procuring such amounts needed. The tons of ashes produced. The time it takes to cremate a human body, and the heat required. Bones don't burn in cremation. Add grinding them up. Etc...

Also, odd that, within a 2 month period, Roosevelt dies, Mussolini is murdered, Hitler commits suicide, Himler commits suicide. Guess dead men don't talk.

Odd, also, that the Diary of Ann Frank was found to be written, in part, in ball point pen - not invented until 1950. Taken from display, locked in a vault in Israel, and hasn't been seen since.


I have to admit that this one took me by surprise. I had not heard about the original document being partly written in ball point pen. Please don't be offended, but I did a web search and to my surprise found a great deal of material on the scandal, such as the article at  http://www.fpp.co.uk/Auschwitz/docs/controversies/AnneFrank/ballpoint1080.html.

The ball-point pen was invented in 1888 by John Loud, but he never manufactured his invention. The first commercially produced ball point pen was not available to civilians outside of Argentina until after WW2 (although the military allies used them). Certainly there is no way that the Frank family, hidden in an attic in Nazi-occupied country, could have obtained one.
 link to

Here's a sample from the article Michael Rivero refers to:

"The results of tests performed at the BKA laboratories show that portions of the work [Anne Frank's diary], specially of the fourth volume, were written with a ballpoint pen." - Al Fredricks, New York Post, October 9, 1980

The important thing to keep in mind is the claim by Michael that "I did a web search and to my surprise found a great deal of material on the scandal." Since this was easy enough to replicate, I too searched the web for information on the "scandal" using the following terms: "Anne Frank", diary, and ballpoint.
 link to www.google.com

Not surprisingly, a link to the Anne Frank House (Amsterdam) was among the results on the first page. Their account of the dairy's history went well beyond 1980 and detailed the legal drama that lay to rest the BKA claims of forgery:

From Denial of the Authenticity of the Diary
by Teresien da Silva

..."On March 19, 1993, after many years, another case in Hamburg also came to an end. The authenticity of Anne Frank's diary was also in question here. It began in 1976 when, following performances of the play based on the diary, E. Römer distributed pamphlets titled 'Best-Seller - ein Schwindel' which claimed that the diary was a forgery. The Public Prosecutor decided to proceed against Römer. Otto Frank was a co-complainant in this case. In 1977 the district court fined Römer 1500-DM. During the appeal stage a fellow right-winger E. Geiss distributed pamphlets in the courtroom alleging that the diary was a complete forgery. Geiss was also brought before the court and received a six-month jail sentence. He also filed an appeal and the Römer and Geiss cases were combined. The German Criminal Court Laboratory, the Bundeskriminalamt (BKA) was asked to examine the kind of paper and the types of ink used in the manuscript of Anne Frank's diary. Results showed that the paper and the ink concerned had been in use during the war and for some years afterwards. Remarkably, the BKA concluded that "the later corrections made on the loose-leaf pages were written in part in black, green and blue ballpoint pen." Verifying the findings of the BKA proved to be impossible since there was no mention of the exact place, nature and extent of these ballpoint corrections. During the Stielau case, twenty years earlier, it had been established, also by handwriting experts, that the work had been written entirely by Anne Frank herself. The BKA report appeared to cast doubt on this ruling. In 1980 the German magazine Der Spiegel published a rather inaccurate article about the findings of the BKA report. The message of this article was: "this undermines the authenticity of the document even further," and it caused an enormous commotion both at home and abroad.

In August 1980 Otto Frank died. His daughter's manuscripts were left to the Dutch State, which deposited the documents with the Nederlands Instituut voor Oorlogsdocumentatie (Netherlands Institute for War Documentation, or NIOD). Otto Frank appointed as his heir the Anne Frank Fund in Basel, which therefore also inherited the copyright of the book. The NIOD decided to publish the complete diaries of Anne Frank in an annotated version, in part as an answer to the continuing attacks on the book's authenticity. The "Gerechtelijk Laboratorium" (State Forensic Science Laboratory) in Rijswijk was asked to conduct an extensive examination of the manuscript with regard to her handwriting and other technical aspects. The BKA was invited by the "Gerechtelijk Laboratorium" to indicate where on the loose-leaf pages they had found the ballpoint ink. The BKA was unable to point out a single alleged correction in ballpoint ink. The court in Hamburg had decided to wait for the results of the RIOD investigation. In 1986 the complete diaries of Anne Frank and the positive results of the laboratory research were published under the title De dagboeken van Anne Frank (The diaries of Anne Frank). The German translation of 1988 was used as evidence by the court in Hamburg. After all these years, the case was resumed in 1990. At his appeal, Geiss was now sentenced to a 6000-DM fine. Römer had died by then. Geiss's defense appealed in 1991 for a review of the conviction based on the fact that the statute of limitations on the offence had lapsed. On March 19, 1993 the verdict was indeed set aside because of the time lapse and the case came to a definitive end."

If Michael Rivero did indeed do a search as claimed, then how did he fail to uncover this crucial information when it was so easy to find? Assuming that Michael's are honest, then the alternatives are; that he hastily conducts sloppy research, or; he finds facts to fit his theories (whereas the Scientific Method demands the opposite approach). This is not the first time Michael Rivero's research has been called into question (see the fake WTC photo evidence  link to freedomforums.net).

Ethical conduct requires journalists to correct their mistakes in print -- just as I did last week in regards to a misstatement about Michael Rivero's purchase of a T-shirt (see  http://twincities.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=9501&group=webcast). I suspect much will be learned about Michael's character by the way he chooses to respond (or ignore) this "new" information about the Anne Frank diary.

Here's hoping that Michael can admit to being human.


RELATED: This morning Michael Rivero posted this link -- 1/20/03 Mossad Infiltrates Indymedia "Let us control your web site or we'll kill you!" The story in question was hidden by the volunteers of the San Francisco Indymedia group (to whom it was submitted), but is still viewable if the reader selects "View Hidden Stories". The following is the actual speculative piece as it appeared on the web site:

Mossad Infiltrates Indymedia
by Spy-Swatter • Wednesday January 15, 2003 at 09:12 AM

Noticed how Indymedia has recently looked for volunteers? No doubt Zionists associated with the Mossad have applied and now work at Indymedia.

Have you noticed how the Rally in Oakland at 1301 Clay @12 between 4 and 5:30 PM whose theme is to STOP US AID TO APARTHEID ISRAEL is somehow not mentioned on the front page with the other events happening in the Bay Area this week?

Have you noticed how some people nick-name themselves "Mossad" and "Uzi" and "Moshe"? And how they post racist Zionist (same thing) comments and articles often with impunity?

Did you know that the ADL is an information-gathering arm of the Mossad?

Have you noticed that the "editors" are very "timid" about coming out against US support of apartheid Israel?

But don't let it deter you from your pro-Palestinian activies. The cat is out of the bag! Israel will soon fall like a house of cards, as all its lies are fully revealed as they are beginning to be now.

Down with all racism! Down with Zionism!


I can't help but wonder why Michael Rivero chose to post this anonymous, unsubstantiated flame? Does he really believe in the validity of the charges? Is he suggesting that he has, or knows of, evidence to back this sick rumor? (frankly, I doubt it) So why would Michael Rivero stoop so low as to attack the anarchist/activist inspired media collaboration that has been one of the most reliable and vocal supporters for the Palestinians?

Finally, I have to ask you (the reader) -- is it really so difficult to fathom that a reasonable person wouldn't begin to question Michael's motivations after such clear-cut examples of poor judgment?

FOLLOW UP 21.Jan.2003 12:06

S. Boyle sboyle2003@yahoo.com

It has become painfully clear that at least some of the WhatReallyHappened.com readers presume that everything reported on WRH is true because of their respect for Michael Rivero. To his discredit, Michael Rivero has done little to discourage the readers from this short-sighted mistake.

(from the 01/21/03 WRH Letters page)

READER: "I was watching abc nightline last night and the topic was How evil is Saddam? Not one mention of the huge protests around the world. I am fed up with the american media. Journalistic integrity is dead except for a few brave souls who dare face up to Corporate Media. People like Mike Rivero, Alex Jones and Jerrod Israel. who mainly report on the internet, are the only people americans can rely on getting the real news. The more I watch the tv news, the more I realize that Corporate media has compromised the News. The more I watch TV reporters, the more I realize that reporters like Sarah MacLendon and Helen Thomas are a dying breed..."

MICHAEL RIVERO: "Reporters seldom ask hard questions during Presidential press conferences. This is more true for reporters from the major media than the independents, but is still true for all and for a simple reason. They want to get invited back to the NEXT press conference, and asking an impertinent question can get a reporter or an entire publication kicked off that short list. The biggest prize of all is to be invited along on Air Force One. Nobody wants to risk losing that ticket. The President can count on support from the press pool riding the back of that plane."

Incidentally, this is how Michael Rivero chose to respond to his mistatements about the Anne Frank diary and his linking to a baseless rumnor about Indymedia -- recognized by many for its support of the Palestinian people including ZNet Middle East Watch, The Palestine Monitor, and MERIP (Middle East Research & Information Project):

(also from the 01/21/03 WRH Letters page)

MICHAEL RIVERO: "...(S. Boyle) is back at it again today, this time attempting to refute the story about the ball point pen used to write the final portion of the Diary of Ann Frank. It should be obvious by now that S. Boyle's sole purpose is to run around the internet trying to cast doubt on any articles critical of Israel or casting doubt upon the truthfulness of any claims made by the boys who proudly brag, 'By way of deception, thou shalt do war.'"

I stated that much would be learned about Michael Rivero's character by his response. So now I must ask you, the Indymedia audience, what do you honestly make of the WRH web site and the way it is being used?

-S. Boyle

I Don't Buy the Claim.... 21.Jan.2003 13:06


...that the WTC was constructed with beams rather than trusses, and I don't much care. The photos that I've seen are of the lower levels, could be doctored, and the upper levels could have been truss constructed anyway. If someone really wanted to support this claim, they could most likely get ahold of the building plans to support their allegation. This issue is peripheral, and provides a potential straw man.

I think this site (WRH) is valuable because it poses questions that are being asked consistently, and without substantial explanation. Instead they have been systematically ignored, and instead the messengers' character is attacked without substantially addressing questions and refuting claims point by point. That alone raises suspicion.

NEVER believe everything you read or hear, no matter where it comes from. On the other hand, I think it is important to keep an open mind with respect to wild claims, since absurd conspiracies are now part of the historical record such as Iran-Contra, and many of the ringleaders of that circus are back in power, albeit by way of massive election fraud (see- Greg Palast).