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Miep Gies

Miep Gies died aged 100 on 11th January 2010. She was one of the Dutch citizens who hid Anne Frank and her family from the Nazis during the Second World War. It was Miep who discovered and preserved Anne's diary after the Franks were arrested.

Miep was born Hermine Santrouschitz in Vienna in 1909 but was sent to Holland age 10 to escape the food shortages prevailing in Austria after the Great War. In 1933, she met the Jewish Otto Frank when she applied for the post of temporary secretary in his spice company, Opekta. She became a close friend of him and his family, as did Jan Gies, whom she married in 1941.

With her husband, and some other work colleagues, Miep helped hide Otto Frank and his family in a secret upstairs room in the company's office building in Amsterdam from July 1942.

The Franks were betrayed by an unknown informant and arrested on 4th August 1944. All except Otto perished in ther Holocaust.

Miep retrieved Anne Frank's diaries and saved them in her desk drawer for Anne's return. At the time Miep did not read the diaries and later remarked that if she had she would have had to destroy them because Anne had named all five of the helpers (the Gestapo had identified and arrested two) as well as their black market suppliers.

Once the war was over and it was confirmed that Anne had perished in Bergen-Belsen, Miep gave the collection of papers and notebooks to Otto. After transcribing sections for his family, Anne's literary ability became apparent and he arranged for the diary's publication in 1947.

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