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
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
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
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 shetold: "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.
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 ..."