Anne Frank was certainly not the only person to perish during the Holocaust. In fact, she was just one of nearly eleven million Jews, gypsies, gays, atheists and other “inferior” groups who were murdered by the Nazis. But she is the face of the Holocaust, and it’s her diary that brings the event to life and makes it more real for those of us born generations after the fact. And had it not been for Miep Gies–along with a few other, less famous individuals–she may never have had the opportunity to write her words, or, even if she had, they might have been lost forever.
It was Miep Gies who helped hide the Franks, and who collected Anne’s diary from the secret annex after they were discovered. It was Miep Gies who returned the diary to Otto Frank after Anne’s death, who helped put it together to be published, and who traveled around the world to promote awareness of what had happened, so that it would not happen again, all while downplaying her actions, saying that others had done more to help more Jews, and she was merely doing what any other person would have.
Miep passed away at a nursing home today at the ripe old age of 100. We’ll miss you Miep. In a large part, the understanding we have of the Holocaust today is all because of you.