Netherlands: Miep Gies, Woman Who Helped Anne Frank, Dies at 100

Miep and Jan Gies

Miep Gies and husband Jan next to the bookcase that hid the Secret Annex, around 1988

Miep Gies, the last surviving member of a group that helped Anne Frank and her Jewish family evade capture in the Netherlands during WWII, passed away on January 12 at the age of 100, reports the BBC.

Anne Frank's Diary remains one of the most famous personal records of the Holocaust. It was Gies who saved Anne Frank's diary when their secret hiding place was betrayed and the family was deported to concentration camps.

The BBC cited Miep Gies’ website as its source:

Miep Gies deceased
On Monday evening, January 11, Miep Gies deceased after a short illness. She has become 100 years.

Dutch media also reported the news, but slower. The broadcaster NOS [nl] cited the BBC as its source for the story more than an hour later.

On Twitter, people were confused. Jetteke69 [nl] posted:

Op Wikipedia wordt gezegd dat Miep Gies is overleden. Heeft iemand daar al een bron voor? #miepgies

On Wikipedia, it says that Miep Gies has died. Does anyone have a source for this yet? #miepgies

hood1409 [nl] says:

waarom weten ze het in t buitenland eerder dan hier #miepgies

why did they hear about it abroad before we did #miepgies

Not everyone in the Netherlands seems to know who Miep Gies is. RicksRommelhok [nl] writes:

..Miep Gies….nooooit van gehoord… #gemistefeiten

..Miep Gies….never heard of her… #missedfacts

But Miep Gies has definitely gained international fame and respect, as this series of tweets by NathanWurtzel from the US shows:

Tweet 1: I'm trying to find words worthy of Miep Gies. I don't know if I can do it.

Tweet 2: I can't possibly imagine what Occupied Europe was like. I can't possibly imagine what living in constant fear of capture is like.

Tweet 3: Miep Gies didn't have to do anything. She was a clerk at Otto Frank's spice company, but could have simply gone along to get along.

Tweet 4: The penalty for helping hide Jews was anything from 6 months in a labor camp to being shot on the spot. No one got away “unpunished.”

Tweet 5: Gies already was threatened with deportation by Nazis for refusing to join a Nazi women's association,

Tweet 6: In addition to running food to the Franks and the other refugees at incredible personal risk, Miep Gies also saved Anne's diary.

Tweet 7: When asked about her heroic efforts, she said she merely stood in a long line of Dutch people who did what she did…or more.

Tweet 8: How do you say thank you to Miep Gies?

Tweet 9: It seems so inadequate.

Tweet 10: I think the only way to thank Miep Gies is to take our own place in the line she spoke of; each of us doing what we can.

Edited: The website of the Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam has published a special section on Miep Gies, including a condolence register.

Photo and thumbnail from Miep Gies’ website


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