Tags: Anne | Frank | helper | Gies

Last Anne Frank Helper Dies at 100

Tuesday, 12 January 2010 10:43 AM

Miep Gies, who died on January 11 aged 100, was one of a Dutch couple who hid and sustained the family of Anne Frank for more than two years in an Amsterdam attic; later she helped to save Anne Frank's diary for posterity.

She was born Hermine Santrouschitz on February 15 1909 into a German Roman Catholic family in Vienna, but was sent to the Netherlands when she was 11 to escape the food shortages in Austria. The family with which she lived in Leiden gave her the nickname Miep and later adopted her.

By the outbreak of the Second World War she was working as an assistant to Otto Frank, the owner of a pectin manufacturing company in Amsterdam.

After the Nazi invasion of 1940, Frank prepared a secret annex behind a swinging bookcase in a room above the firm's offices at 263 Prinsengracht; and in July 1942 the family of four – Otto, his wife Edith and their daughters Margot and Anne – went into hiding, leaving a false trail indicating that they had fled to Switzerland. Soon afterwards they were joined by other Jews, the van Pels family and Miep Gies's family dentist, Fritz Pfeffer – eight people in all.

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Tuesday, 12 January 2010 10:43 AM
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