For two years during the Second World War, Miep Gies and her husband smuggled food and provisions to Anne Frank, her family and other Jews hidden in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam. Gies, who died on Monday at 100, knew that she would be summarily executed if discovered, but continued the dangerous work until Aug. 4, 1944 when the Frank family was betrayed and everyone hidden above Gies’ office were arrested and sent to concentration camps. Only Anne’s father survived. Yet the story did not end there, for Miep Gies had crept back into the hidden space to retrieve Anne’s diaries. Only when she was certain that Anne was dead did she turn them over to Otto Frank. On Aug. 4 every year, the day of the arrest, Miep Gies would shut herself away in her house and see no one. “I act as though the day does not exist. It is my personal memorial to my people,” she explained.
An extraordinary life
No one would know Anne Frank’s story had it not been for the courage of Miep Gies