Miep Gies
Miep Gies was one of the Dutch citizens who hid Anne Frank
Anne Frank
Annelies Marie "Anne" Frank is one of the most renowned and most discussed Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Acknowledged for the quality of her writing, her diary has become one of the world's most widely read books, and has been the basis for several plays and films.Born in the city of Frankfurt...

, her family and several family friends in an attic annex above Anne's father's place of business from the Nazis
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. She discovered and preserved Anne Frank's diary
The Diary of a Young Girl
The Diary of a Young Girl is a book of the writings from the Dutch language diary kept by Anne Frank while she was in hiding for two years with her family during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. The family was apprehended in 1944 and Anne Frank ultimately died of typhus in the Bergen-Belsen...

 after the Franks were arrested.

Early life

Born Hermine Santrouschitz in Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

, Miep Gies was transported to Leiden from Vienna in December 1920 to escape the food shortages prevailing in Austria after World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

. In 1922, she moved with her foster family to Amsterdam
Amsterdam is the largest city and the capital of the Netherlands. The current position of Amsterdam as capital city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is governed by the constitution of August 24, 1815 and its successors. Amsterdam has a population of 783,364 within city limits, an urban population...

. In 1933, she met Otto Frank
Otto Frank
Otto Heinrich "Pim" Frank was a German-born businessman and the father of Anne Frank and Margot Frank...

 when she applied for the post of temporary secretary in his company, Opekta
Opekta was a business run from 1933 to 1995, founded by Anne Frank's father Otto Frank, which distributed a pectin-based gelling preparation, to be used in jam making...

. The company sold a pectin
Pectin is a structural heteropolysaccharide contained in the primary cell walls of terrestrial plants. It was first isolated and described in 1825 by Henri Braconnot...

 preparation used for making jams. She initially ran the Complaints and Information desk in Opekta, and was eventually promoted to a more general administrative role. She became a close friend of the Frank family, as did Jan Gies, whom she married on July 16, 1941 after she refused to join a Nazi women's association and was threatened with deportation back to Austria. Her knowledge of Dutch
Dutch language
Dutch is a West Germanic language and the native language of the majority of the population of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Suriname, the three member states of the Dutch Language Union. Most speakers live in the European Union, where it is a first language for about 23 million and a second...

 and German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

 helped the Frank family assimilate into Dutch society, and she and her husband became regular guests at the Franks' home.

Hiding the Franks

With her husband, and her family friends, Victor Kugler
Victor Kugler
Victor Kugler was one of the people who helped hide Anne Frank and her family and friends during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. In Anne Frank's posthumously published diary, The Diary of a Young Girl, he was referred to under the name Mr...

, Johannes Kleiman
Johannes Kleiman
Johannes Kleiman was one of the Dutch citizens who helped hide Anne Frank and her family during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. In the published version of Anne's diary, The Diary of a Young Girl, he is given the pseudonym Mr. Koophuis...

, and Bep Voskuijl
Bep Voskuijl
Elisabeth "Bep" Voskuijl helped conceal Anne Frank and her family from Nazi persecution during the occupation of the Netherlands.Bep was born in :Amsterdam...

, Miep Gies helped hide Edith
Edith Frank-Holländer
Edith Frank was the mother of Holocaust diarist Anne Frank.-Early life:Edith was the youngest of four children, having been born into a German-Jewish family in Aachen, Germany...

 and Otto Frank, their daughters Margot
Margot Frank
Margot Betti Frank was the older sister of Anne Frank, whose deportation order from the Gestapo hastened the Frank family into hiding, and who subsequently perished in Bergen-Belsen...

 and Anne, Hermann and Auguste van Pels, their son Peter, and Fritz Pfeffer
Fritz Pfeffer
Friedrich "Fritz" Pfeffer was a German dentist and Jewish refugee who hid with Anne Frank during the Nazi Occupation of the Netherlands, and who perished in the Neuengamme concentration camp in Northern Germany...

 in a secret upstairs room that was not used in the company's office building on Amsterdam's Prinsengracht from July 1942 to August 4, 1944.

After the arrest

Gies and the other helpers could have been executed if they had been caught hiding Jews. On the morning of August 4, 1944, acting on information provided by an informant, the Grüne Polizei arrested the people hidden at Frank's place of business, as well as Victor Kugler and Johannes Kleiman. A few days later, Miep unsuccessfully tried to bribe the Austrian Nazi officer to release her friends.

Before the hiding place was emptied by the authorities, Gies retrieved Anne Frank's diaries and saved them in her desk drawer. Once the war was over and it was confirmed that Anne Frank had perished in Bergen-Belsen
Bergen-Belsen concentration camp
Bergen-Belsen was a Nazi concentration camp in Lower Saxony in northwestern Germany, southwest of the town of Bergen near Celle...

, Gies gave the collection of papers and notebooks to the sole survivor from the Secret Annex
Anne Frank House
The Anne Frank House on Prinsengracht canal in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, is a museum dedicated to Jewish wartime diarist Anne Frank, who hid from Nazi persecution with her family and four other people in hidden rooms at the rear of the building...

, Otto Frank. After transcribing sections for his family, his daughter's literary ability became apparent and he arranged for the book's publication in 1947. Gies did not read the diaries before turning them over to him, and later remarked that if she had she would have had to destroy them because the diary contained the names of all five of the helpers as well as their black market suppliers. She was persuaded by Otto Frank to read it in its second printing.

Later life and death

Miep's and Jan's only child, Paul, was born on July 13, 1950. Jan Gies died in 1993 from diabetes.

In December 1994, during the making of the documentary film Anne Frank Remembered, Miep was introduced to Peter Pfeffer, the son of Fritz Pfeffer
Fritz Pfeffer
Friedrich "Fritz" Pfeffer was a German dentist and Jewish refugee who hid with Anne Frank during the Nazi Occupation of the Netherlands, and who perished in the Neuengamme concentration camp in Northern Germany...

. After his parents divorced, Pfeffer was raised by his father, until his father felt it was too dangerous for him to remain in Germany, and in 1938 was sent to London to live with his uncle. By the end of the war he had lost most of his close family, including his father who died in Neuengamme and mother, who had died in Theresienstadt
Theresienstadt concentration camp
Theresienstadt concentration camp was a Nazi German ghetto during World War II. It was established by the Gestapo in the fortress and garrison city of Terezín , located in what is now the Czech Republic.-History:The fortress of Terezín was constructed between the years 1780 and 1790 by the orders...


Pfeffer moved to the United States and California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

, where he founded a successful office supply business. Pfeffer, upon meeting Miep Gies, expressed his thanks to her for attempting to save his father's life and Miep asked him if there was anything he wanted to know about his father, expressing that he was a good man and fine dentist. Pfeffer died of cancer two months later. Miep Gies stated in her autobiography, and on her own website:
I stand at the end of the long, long line of good Dutch people who did what I did or more – much more - during those dark and terrible times years ago, but always like yesterday in the hearts of those of us who bear witness. Never a day goes by that I do not think of what happened then.

Miep Gies lived in the Dutch province of Noord-Holland
North Holland
North Holland |West Frisian]]: Noard-Holland) is a province situated on the North Sea in the northwest part of the Netherlands. The provincial capital is Haarlem and its largest city is Amsterdam.-Geography:...

. According to Carol Ann Lee's biography of Otto Frank, The Hidden Life of Otto Frank, Gies stopped granting interviews after enduring a bout of severe ill health. On February 15, 2009, she celebrated her 100th birthday. At the time, according to her son, Gies was in good health and followed the news every day. Gies died on January 11, 2010 following a short illness and was cremated. It was reported that her death was caused by a fall.

Gies was portrayed by Pat Carroll
Pat Carroll (actress)
Patricia Ann “Pat” Carroll is an American actress. She performed in numerous stage productions, and portrayed the roles of "Bunny Halper" on CBS's The Danny Thomas Show, Shirley Feeney's mother on ABC's Laverne and Shirley, and is the voice of the villainous Ursula in The Little Mermaid film...

 in the 2007 American movie Freedom Writers
Freedom Writers
Freedom Writers is a 2007 American drama film starring Academy Award winner Hilary Swank, Scott Glenn, Imelda Staunton and Patrick Dempsey. It is based on the book The Freedom Writers Diary by teacher Erin Gruwell who wrote the story based on Woodrow Wilson Classical High School in Long Beach,...


Honors and awards

In 1994, Gies was awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
The Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany is the only general state decoration of the Federal Republic of Germany. It has existed since 7 September 1951, and between 3,000 and 5,200 awards are given every year across all classes...

 as well as the Wallenberg Medal by the University of Michigan
University of Michigan
The University of Michigan is a public research university located in Ann Arbor, Michigan in the United States. It is the state's oldest university and the flagship campus of the University of Michigan...

. The following year, Gies received the Yad Vashem
Yad Vashem
Yad Vashem is Israel's official memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, established in 1953 through the Yad Vashem Law passed by the Knesset, Israel's parliament....

Righteous Among the Nations
Righteous among the Nations of the world's nations"), also translated as Righteous Gentiles is an honorific used by the State of Israel to describe non-Jews who risked their lives during the Holocaust to save Jews from extermination by the Nazis....

. In 1997, she was knighted by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands
Beatrix of the Netherlands
Beatrix is the Queen regnant of the Kingdom of the Netherlands comprising the Netherlands, Curaçao, Sint Maarten, and Aruba. She is the first daughter of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands and Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld. She studied law at Leiden University...

. The minor planet
Minor planet
An asteroid group or minor-planet group is a population of minor planets that have a share broadly similar orbits. Members are generally unrelated to each other, unlike in an asteroid family, which often results from the break-up of a single asteroid...

 99949 Miepgies
99949 Miepgies
99949 Miepgies is a main-belt asteroid discovered on March 16, 2007 by T. Gehrels at Palomar Observatory. It is named after Miep Gies - a Dutch citizen who hid Anne Frank and her family from the Nazis during World War II, and who discovered and preserved Anne's diary after Anne Frank's arrest and...

 is named in her honor.

External links

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