Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Miep Gies saved Anne Frank’s diary

Annelies Marie "Anne" Frank

On August 4, 1944, Anne Frank and her family were arrested by the Gestapo in Amsterdam and sent to their deaths in German concentration camps. Only her father, Otto, survived.

No one knows the name of the Dutch informer who revealed the Franks’ hiding place.

Few people know the name of the brave woman who helped hide and shelter the family before they were captured, and who saved Anne’s heartbreaking diary.

Miep Gies before WWII
Miep Gies (1909-2010)) was one of many stalwart Dutch resisters who hid Jews during World War II in the Netherlands. She was born Hermine Santruschitz in Austria. As a child, she adopted the surname of her foster family in Amsterdam. With her husband and three others who protected Anne and her family, Miep worked for Otto’s father in the building where the Franks hid from July 1942 to August 1944. After the Gestapo raid, she found the 15-year-old girl’s diary in the ransacked rooms where the family had desperately survived.

Miep kept the diary—but never read it—and gave it to Otto when he made his way back to Amsterdam after the war ended.

Here’s a chilling note: Anne had innocently written in her diary the names of all the resisters who concealed and fed her family for so many months. After it was published, Miep told Otto that if she had read the diary after Anne disappeared, she would have destroyed it to protect herself and the other Samaritans of No. 263 Prinsengracht in Amsterdam.

Miep Gies was a brave and wonderful woman. If she had been a curious lady, Anne Frank’s name would have died with her at Bergen-Belsen in early 1945.

The only known video of Anne Frank, as a young girl looking out a second-floor window at the wedding of a neighbor in 1941, see it here

Copyright © Richard Carl Subber 2015 All rights reserved.

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