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Miep Gies, the last survivor among Anne Frank’s protectors and the woman who preserved the diary that endures as a testament to the human spirit in the face of unfathomable evil, died Monday night, the Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam said. She was 100.

The British Broadcasting Corporation said Mrs. Gies suffered a fall late last month and died at a nursing home.

January 11, 2010

 

Miep Gies, white-haired, gentle and courageous, is an inspiring evidence of human nobility. An unfamiliar name to most people, but without this remarkable woman, there would be no The Diary of Anne Frank.

During the Nazi occupation of Holland the Austrian-born Dutch woman risked her life daily to hide Anne Frank and her family from the Nazis. For more than two years, Miep helped the Franks and four other people evade the Gestapo by bringing food, comfort and news of the world to them in a tiny hideout in the canal-side building that housed the family business.

It all ended on August 4, 1944, when their hiding place was betrayed and the family was arrested by the Nazis. A few hours later, wandering mournfully through the four small upstairs rooms, Miep discovered the plaid-cloth-covered diary kept by the young teenager.


By saving the diary from the debris left by the Nazis, Miep Gies made sure that Anne Frank’s name was known around the world. After the Bible, it is the most widely read book in the world - for many children, their first direct brush with the horrors of the Holocaust.


Holocaust Children


Ever since, Miep Gies has devoted her life to keeping the memory of her beloved friends alive. She has been traveling to dozens of countries and has been giving speeches to numerous schools all over the world.

She is the only person mentioned in The Diary of Anne Frank who is still alive. Every year on August 4, she closes her curtains, ignores the doorbell, the telephone. Every year on August 4, Miep Gies grieves for her lost Jewish friends.

Miep Gies is bewildered that anyone would make a fuss over what she did. In her book Anne Frank Remembered she told: "I am not a hero. I stand at the end of the long, long line of good Dutch people who did what I did or more—much more—during those dark and terrible times years ago ..."

The Nobel Prize recipient, Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, has dedicated his life to ensuring that none of us forget what happened to the Jews. He wrote:

"In those times there was darkness everywhere. In heaven and on earth, all the gates of compassion seemed to have been closed. The killer killed and the Jews died and the outside world adopted an attitude either of complicity or of indifference. Only a few had the courage to care ..."


 



 

 

 

 

Louis Bülow Privacy  ©2011-13
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