Yesterday, Miep Gies had died at the age of one hundred.
In Nazi-occupied Holland, she helped hide the Frank and the Van Pels families, as well as Dr. Fritz Pfeffer, from concentration camp deportation. The two families were successfully hidden for two years, until their discovery on August 4th, 1944. When the Gestapo took away the Franks and the Van Pelses and Dr. Pfeffer, Miep Gies took Anne’s diary and other writings from the annex apartment and hid them. She attempted to bribe the officials for their freedom, without success.
She was knighted by Queen Beatrix of Holland and received the Yad Vashem medal, among other honors.
Most importantly, she kept Anne’s memory alive. She was a living reminder of human courage, having gone to protect them at great personal risk; she was their friend, counselor, greengrocer, butcher, baker, errand-girl for the twenty-five months that the two Jewish families lived in isolation, at risk of being discovered every single day. Up until the last day, she fought tooth and nail to keep them alive and after the war, worked with Otto Frank to ensure they would be remembered. For the people she loved, she knew no boundaries.
We cannot allow ourselves to forget courage of this kind.
For the people we love, may we also know no boundaries. If ever shall we find our friends in need, may her action serve as an example.
Miep Gies, rest in peace. You will not be forgotten.