EXPIRED: 01/11/10 – Miep Gies, 100, hid a little girl from Nazi soldiers, kept her diary and made history.
It wasn’t just Anne Frank. Miep Gies helped the entire Frank family hide from the Nazis.
In 1933, Gies heard about an opening as an office assistant for Otto Frank, who had just moved to Amsterdam with his family from Germany. Gies took the job and became good friends with Otto Frank, his wife, Edith, and their two daughters, Margot and Anne.
The German occupation of the Netherlands began in May 1940, and soon after the Nazis shut down Jewish newspapers, fired Jewish civil servants and barred Jewish children from public schools. Having lived in Germany, Otto Frank knew the situation would only get worse. In the spring of 1942, Miep recalled in a 1998 interview, Frank called her into his office and told her of his plan:
“He said, ‘Sit down, Miep, I have to tell you something very important. It’s really sort of secret. We’re planning on going into hiding here, in this building. Are you prepared to help us, to bring us food?’ I answered yes, of course.”
Gies and several other employees of Anne Frank’s father provided food and other necessities to the Jewish family while they hid in a concealed apartment for 25 months.
Gies assembled Anne’s papers after she and her family were discovered by the Nazis in 1944 and, because they were Jewish, taken to concentration camps; though Anne died of typhus in Bergen-Belsen, her father, Otto, survived, and, with Gies, assembled Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl, published in 1947.