preserved Anne Frank's diary
Born: Feb. 15, 1909
Died: Jan. 11, 2010 (Noord-Holland, Netherlands)
Best Known as: woman who hid Anne Frank and her family
Miep Gies often claimed she was not a hero, but most people challenge her modesty. Gies, along with her husband, Jan, a member of the Dutch resistance during World War II, sheltered Anne Frank, her family, and three other Jews in Amsterdam in an attempt to spare them from being sent to concentration camps by the Gestapo.
Gies worked as a secretary for Anne's father, Otto Frank, and agreed when he asked her to hide his family in 1942 when deportation seemed imminent. Gies hid the group in a series of secret rooms above Frank's Amsterdam office, providing them with food, books, newspapers, and other supplies from July 1942 to August 1944, when the Gestapo and Dutch police, working on a tip from an informant, found the group and arrested them. They were sent to concentration camps, and Anne died at the Bergen-Belsen camp three days shy of her 16th birthday.
After the arrest of the Franks and the three others, Gies found Anne's papers that chronicled her time in hiding, eloquently capturing the emotions of the ordeal and her dreams for the future. Gies hid the papers and gave them to Otto Frank when he returned from Auschwitz at the end of the war. He published them as The Secret Annex in 1947. The book was later published as Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl. Millions of copies of the book have been sold, and the story has been adapted into films and plays. Gies's memoir, Anne Frank Remembered was published in 1987. She was knighted by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands in 1996 and awarded West Germany's highest civilian honor in 1989.