Miep Gies
Miep Gies
Birth: 15 February 1909
Vienna, Austria-Hungary
(now Austria)
Death: 11 January 2010
Hoorn, North-Holland, Netherlands
Age: 100 years, 330 days
Country: AustriaAUTNetherlandsNED
Centenarian

Hermine (Miep) Gies (née Santruschitz) (15 February 1909 – 11 January 2010) was an Austrian-Dutch centenarian who was one of the people who hid Anne Frank and her family during the German occupation of the Netherlands during World War II. She was also the person who hid Anne's now famous diary from being destroyed by Nazis.

Biography

Miep Gies was born Hermine Santruschitz on 15 February 1909 in Vienna, Austria-Hungary. She was send to the Netherlands at age 10 due to being malnourished. There, she was adopted by the Nieuwenburg family in Leiden and later moved to Amsterdam.

At age 24, she found work at Opekta, a company trading in pectin to make jam yourself. At the time, Otto Frank was in charge of the company. Around the same time, she met her future husband Jan Gies. They married in 1941 and got a son.

On 10 May 1940, Nazi-Germany invaded the Netherlands but the Frank family continued their daily business. However, Margot Frank, the oldest child of the family, received a letter in 1942 to 'work' in a German camp. As a result, the Frank family decided to hid at the Opekta company at Prinsengracht 263, which is now known worldwide as the 'Anne Frank House'. Later, the Van Pels family and dentist Fritz Pfeffer joined the Frank family, meaning there were now eight people hiding. At this time, Miep and three other people took care of the eight hiders, while also taking care of the company.

On 4 August 1944, the eight hiders were (most probably) betrayed and caught by members of the NSB, the Dutch allies of the Nazis. Miep herself was also about to be arrested, but she noticed that one of the members had a Viennese accent. She told this member that she was from Vienna as well and was eventually let go because of this.

When Otto Frank, the only one of the eight hiders who survived, returned to Amsterdam in June 1945, Gies gave him Anne's diary, which was published in 1947 and eventually became one of the most read books in the world. After the war, Miep received multiple awards such as the Yad Vashem medal (Israel), Raoul Wallenberg Award (United States), Bundesverdienstkreuz (Germany) and was appointed Knight in the Order of Orange-Nassau (Netherlands). Despite a stroke in 1997, she remained in good health.

Miep Gies died in Hoorn, North Holland, Netherlands on 11 January 2010 at the age of 100 years, 330 days.

References

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