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Miep Gies Is Dead

Anne Frank protector who saved diaries after arrest was 100

Jesse Oxfeld
January 12, 2010
Gies in her Amsterdam apartment in 1998.(
Gies in her Amsterdam apartment in 1998.(

Miep Gies, who with three others sheltered eight Dutch Jews from the Nazis in a secret annex to Otto Frank’s Amsterdam office during World War II, died Monday night at the age of 100. She was an employee of Frank’s business who helped protect the Frank family; another family, the van Pels; and her dentist, Fritz Pfeffer, after the Germans occupied the Netherlands and started deporting Jews in 1942. When the Gestapo raided the annex on August 4, 1944, arresting the hidden Jews and sending them to concentration camps, Gies avoided arrest and saved the papers of the teenaged Anne. After the war, when only Otto Frank returned from the camps, Gies gave him his daughter’s diary, which was first published in the Netherlands in 1947. Gies, who remained anonymous until an American author identified her and helped her publish an autobiography, Anne Frank Remembered, in 1987, was subsequently honored with West Germany’s highest civilian medal in 1989 and knighted by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands in 1996. “I am not a hero,” she wrote in Anne Frank Remembered. “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.”

Jesse Oxfeld, a former executive editor and publisher of Tablet Magazine, is a freelance theater critic. He was The New York Observer’s theater critic from 2009 to 2014.