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Miep Gies

Birthdate: 15. February 1909
Date of death: 11. January 2010

Hermine Santruschitz , better known as Miep Gies , was one of the Dutch citizens who hid Anne Frank, her family and four other Jews from the Nazis in an annex above Anne's father's business premises during World War II. She was Austrian by birth, but in 1920, at the age of eleven, she was taken in as a foster child by a Dutch family to whom she became very attached. Although she was initially only to stay for six months, this stay was extended to one year because of frail health, after which she chose to remain with them, living the rest of her life in the Netherlands.

In 1933 she began working for Otto Frank, a businessman who had moved with his family from Germany to the Netherlands in hopes of sparing his family from Nazi persecution because they were Jewish. Gies became a close, trusted friend of the family and was a great support to them during the two years they spent in hiding. She retrieved Anne Frank's diary after the family was arrested and kept the papers safe until Otto Frank returned from Auschwitz in 1945, and learned of his younger daughter's death. She was happy that the entries in Anne's diary were not revealed or else she would have to destroy it as it incriminated the identities of all the people who helped the Franks in their hard times at the annex. Together with Alison Leslie Gold, Gies authored the book Anne Frank Remembered: The Story of the Woman Who Helped to Hide the Frank Family, first published in 1987.

„I myself am just an ordinary woman. I simply had no choice.“

—  Miep Gies

Jewish Virtual Library http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/biography/Miep_Gies.html

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