- NAME: Miep Gies
- OCCUPATION: Anti-War Activist
- BIRTH DATE: February 15, 1909
- DEATH DATE: January 11, 2010
- Did You Know?: Miep and her husband also hid a Dutch student in their house.
- Did You Know?: Published in 1947, Anne Frank's Diary of a Young Girl has since been translated into 67 languages.
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Vienna, Austria
- PLACE OF DEATH: Hoorn, Netherlands
- Full Name: Hermine Santruschitz Gies
- AKA: Hermine Santruschitz
- AKA: Hermine Santrouschitz
- AKA: Miep Gies
Best Known For
Hermine Santruschitz Gies, better known as Miep Gies, helped hide Anne Frank and her family from the Nazis, and saved her diaries.
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Miep and her colleagues also kept the business afloat, providing income and making the building a low-profile hub of activity. At their suggestion, Miep and Jan even spent a night with the eight people in hiding upstairs, where she recalled, "The fright...was so thick I could feel it pressing down on me."
She and her co-workers were able to keep the family hidden for over two years, but eventually they were betrayed. The annex was raided by the Nazis on August 4, 1944,
and the occupants were sent to concentration camps. Miep found Anne Frank's diaries and put them away for the family's return.
But only Otto Frank returned. When they learned that the rest of the family had perished in the camps, she gave him the diaries.
Otto continued to live with the Gieses until 1953. Miep gave birth to her and Jan's son, Paul, in 1952. Although Anne's diaries had been published in 1947, Miep had never read them, but Otto finally persuaded her to do so in their second printing. She said, "Though I wept a lot, I kept thinking: 'Anne, you gave me one of the finest presents I ever got.'"
Miep Gies died on January 11, 2010, in a nursing home after a fall, just a month shy of her 101st birthday.
She published a memoir, Anne Frank Remembered, in 1987, which provides an illuminating bridge to the Secret Annex. As a woman of courage and conviction, she toured and lectured on the lessons of the Holocaust and Anne Frank's legacy, but Miep always insisted she was not a hero; she simply did what many other "good Dutch people" did. Anne Frank said of her, "We are never far from Miep's thoughts." And indeed, Miep and her husband reserved August 4 as a special day of memory.
Miep received many awards late in life, including the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Yad Vashem Medal and the Wallenberg Medal. In accepting the latter honor, she said, "I feel strongly that we should not wait for our political leaders to make this world a better place."
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