This is Miep Gies. She was the last remaining survivor who helped in hiding the Frank family during WWII. Miep was born to a Catholic family in Vienna on February 15, 1909. Following WWI, conditions in Austria worsened and food supplies were sparse, Miep’s parents sent her to the Netherlands for a healthier life with a foster family.
In 1933, Miep started working as a secretary for Otto Frank. The two worked together for several years as things in Amsterdam became increasingly dangerous for Jews. One day, in July 1942, Otto sat down with Miep to share his plans of hiding in a Secret Annex in Otto’s office building and asked if she was able to help. Without any hesitation, Miep immediately agreed. She, together with her husband Jan, put their lives at risk by providing food, news and other supplies. The Franks were joined in the attic by another Jewish family and Miep’s dentist. In August 1944, all 8 individuals were found by the Gestapo after 25 months in hiding. Miep was working in the building at the time and immediately ran to save Anne’s notebooks and put in her desk drawer for safekeeping.
Following their deportation to concentration camps, Otto was the only one to survive. In January 1945, he returned to Amsterdam and reunited with Miep. It was then that she shared Anne’s diary. After the war, Otto lived with Miep’s family and organized Anne’s notes into a book which was first published in the Netherlands in 1947. “Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl” went on to sell tens of millions of copies worldwide.
In 1987, Miep published a memoir, ‘Anne Frank Remembered’. “I am not a hero. I stand at the end of the long, long line of good Dutch people who did what I did and more–much more–during those dark and terrible times years ago, but always like yesterday in the heart of those of us who bear witness. Never a day goes by that I do not think of what happened then.”
In January 2010, Miep died in the Netherlands at 100 years old.