Friday, January 15, 2010

Miep Gies — A life fulfilled (1909-2010)

Miep Gies, a true heroine, recently died at 100 years old on January 11. She and her husband, Jan Gies, helped hide Edith and Otto Frank and their daughters Margot and Anne. After the Franks were arrested, Miep Gies kept Anne Frank's diary, so it could be published in 1947.

During World War II, the Nazis, a fascist society, invaded and occupied large portions of Europe. During these times in Nazi occupied Europe, your life would be threatened if you were Jewish, physically or mentally disabled, a Gypsy, or homosexual. According to many historians, Nazi propaganda spouted that these peoples brought down the human race, referred to as "parasitic races" by Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.

In 1933, Miep Gies met Otto Frank and his Jewish family when applying for his spice company's open position as a temporary secretary. She and her husband, whom she married in 1943, were both very close to the Franks, which is most likely why they would hide them when their race was being persecuted. Miep was also very much against Nazism, having refused joining the Nazi Women's Association in 1941. Even before sheltering the Franks, she helped the family blend in with Dutch society.

The Gies couple, along with Victor Kugler, Johannes Kleinman, and Bep Voskuijl helped to hide the Franks, the Van Pels, and Fritz Pfeffer in the secret room upstairs of the spice company's office, where they remained undiscovered from 1942 to 1944. After the families were arrested and sent to concentration camps, the Gies were sure to take Anne Frank's diary and manuscript papers before the secret Dutch police ransacked the families' possessions.

Anne Frank's diary is still widely popular. The story of a young girl, an aspiring writer, living in the face of danger, The Secret Annex, by Anne Frank.

Source: Wikipedia
By: Brigette W.

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