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Going big to catch a betrayer

| November 17, 2017 | 0 Comments

The story of Anne Frank, the young Jewish girl who hid with her family from the Nazis in Amsterdam in
the Netherlands during World War 2 and documented her short life in a diary, has fascinated generations of
readers. The fact that the Franks were betrayed and sent to the death camps in 1944 is a compelling part of the
story, as noone has been able to prove who disclosed their secret annexe. A retired American Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent now says he can prove who the traitor was. Vince Pankoke will lead a team of investigators
comprising historians, psychological profilers and police detectives. Used to tracking Colombian drug gangs in the past, Pankoke and his team of 20 will now turn to big data to crack the case. Wikipedia defines the term “big data” as “[data] sets that are so large or complex that traditional processing application software is inadequate to deal with them. Big data challenges include capturing data, data storage, data analysis, searching, sharing, transferring, visualisation, querying, updating and information privacy.” On, Pankoke has set 4 August 2019 as the date for the big reveal. This will be the 75th anniversary of the arrest of the Frank family by the Germans in their secret hiding place. Pankoke has said the team is already dealing with over a million documents that are being incorporated into a huge database, which also includes lists of Nazi informants, lists of
Jews who were turned over to the authorities, names of Gestapo agents who lived in Amsterdam during the war, police records and recently declassified wartime documents that were stored in the US. The database is so big, said Pankoke at a recent media briefing, that “[a] human in their lifetime might not be able to review it”.
Pankoke’s team is also being assisted by the Dutch big data technology firm, Xomnia. The Anne Frank House in
Amsterdam, a museum dedicated to the young writer and caretaker of precious related artefacts, will also be part of the investigation.

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