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Old 01-12-10, 02:18 AM   #1
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RIP: Miep Gies

Miep Gies, who helped hide Anne Frank and family, dies at 100



By Martin Weil
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, January 12, 2010; B05

Miep Gies, the last survivor of those who risked death to hide Anne Frank and her family from the Nazis, died Jan. 11 in the Netherlands. Ms. Gies had suffered a fall on Christmas, and her Web site said she died after a brief illness. She was 100.

Anne Frank was a teenager who died in a concentration camp after her family was betrayed to the Nazis. The diary she kept while in hiding in Amsterdam is among the best known literary works of the World War II period and is widely read around the world.

Although controversy surrounds some aspects of the diary, Ms. Gies has been credited with preserving it and turning it over to Anne's father, Otto, after the war.

The Frank saga has come to symbolize both the heroism of individuals and the tragedy of the Holocaust.

In an interview published online, Ms. Gies said she thought it was "perfectly natural" to have aided the Franks and several others who were hiding with them at Prinsengracht 263.

"We did our duty as human beings," she said. "Helping people in need."

From July 1942 until the August 1944 betrayal, the Franks and the others were hidden in sealed-off rooms of Otto Frank's company. In addition to working for the company, Opekta, Ms. Gies became a close friend of the family.

Several people played a part in protecting the group. Ms. Gies bicycled all over Amsterdam to get vegetables and meat without raising suspicion. She was also credited with giving Anne books and newspapers.

Miep Gies was born into a working-class family in Vienna in 1909. As a child, her name was Hermine Santruschitz. During the first World War, food was scarce, and it was later feared that she might die.

At the age of 11, a Dutch workers' union helped bring her to the Netherlands to restore her health, and she made her home there. After completing high school, she began working as an office assistant. In her early 20s, she was hired by Otto Frank and put in charge of a complaint desk.

After the Nazi invasion of the Netherlands, she recognized the danger to people to whom she was close.

"We felt deep anxiety for our Jewish friends," she wrote, and told of "special pangs of regret for the Franks, with their two young children."

She was summoned to the German consulate, where she was asked about her refusal to join a Nazi girls' group.

A German official said she would have to return to Vienna unless she married a Dutch citizen. She and Jan Gies had been close since 1930, and in 1941, they married. She became a Dutch citizen. Miep was a nickname.

Jan Gies, who was in the Dutch resistance, died in 1993. Ms. Gies is survived by a son and three grandchildren.

According to her Web site, it was less than a year after she married that Otto Frank told her of his plans to hide from the Nazis.

He asked whether she would assume the responsibility of caring for him, his family and those who would try to hide with them.

As she recounted later, her response was, "Of course."
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Old 01-12-10, 02:36 AM   #2
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I appreciate your passing along this important obituary, Botto. Hers was a fine life.
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Old 01-12-10, 07:55 AM   #3
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The world needs more people like her.
RIP.
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Old 01-12-10, 09:24 AM   #4
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Rip.
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Old 01-13-10, 04:42 AM   #5
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the lack of reactions to the content of this thread has been quite revealing.
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Old 01-13-10, 04:53 AM   #6
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The stories of Anne Frank and Miep Gies should be mandatory reading in history classes. Incredible accounts of the good and evil of we "civilized" people are capable of. Lessons we can all learn from.
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Old 01-13-10, 08:45 AM   #7
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I actually didn't know the strory was true until recently, she was a great person, and you don't find to many of them around anymore.
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Old 01-13-10, 08:50 AM   #8
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The story of Anne Frank was mandatory when I was in grade school. I'll never forget it.


And botto ... I've not been around much or I would have replied earlier. I agree about the lack of reactions. That's sad.
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Old 01-13-10, 11:24 AM   #9
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Anyone getting the chance to visit the Netherlands and stop in Amsterdam, it is well worth walking through the Anne Frank house, starting with ducking behind the bookcase to go up the stairs. The few times I've been able to do that, I always end up re-reading the diary after. What a memory.
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Old 01-13-10, 04:49 PM   #10
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We all mourn in our own ways.

RIP.
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Old 01-14-10, 01:38 AM   #11
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She was a heroine in her own right as she risked herself to support those of whom she was loyal to. With her presentation of the diary to Otto, she became the marker for history.
Her strength during this most tragic time is an example of human preservation.

I'm waiting to see what will be done in her honour.
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Old 01-14-10, 10:18 AM   #12
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The stories of Anne Frank and Miep Gies should be mandatory reading in history classes. Incredible accounts of the good and evil of we "civilized" people are capable of. Lessons we can all learn from.
They are were I'm from.
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Old 01-15-10, 08:07 PM   #13
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My small town newspaper has a section of quotes on a common theme each week. A few of them reminded me of this thread. Here are a few from Matin Luther King:

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter"

"In the end we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."

"Ten thousand fools proclaim themselves into obscurity, while one wise man (or woman) forgets himself into immortality"

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort & convenience, but where he stands at times of challange & contrroversy"
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