Miep Gies was born on 15 February 1909 in Vienna (Austria) as Hermine Santrouschitz. The Santrouschitz family was Catholic and not well-off. Because there was not a lot of food available after the First World War, Miep even became malnourished.
Miep Gies was not going to stand by as the Nazis arrested people in the Netherlands and sent them to prison camps just for being Jewish. Instead, she risked her life to help them. Born Hermine Santrouschitz on February 15, 1909, “Miep” was sent from her home in Vienna, Austria, to live with a family in the Netherlands when she was 11.
- Johnna Rizzo
Miep and her husband Jan Gies at the book presentation of Miep Gies: Herinneringen aan Anne Frank (the Dutch version of the book Anne Frank remembered : the story of the woman who helped to hide the Frank family, 1987) in Anne Frankhuis near the moveable bookcase covering the stair to the secret hiding place "Achterhuis", Anne Frankhuis, Amsterdam, 5 May 1987.
Jul 15, 2020 · Miep Gies was born Hermine Santruschitz (Santrouschitz in Dutch) on February 15, 1909, in Vienna, Austria, the second daughter of working-class Austrian parents. Because there was little work and ...
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While millions of people all over the world know about Anne Frank, far fewer are aware of Miep Gies, the woman who sustained Frank and her family in hiding during World War II. The humanitarian actions of Gies more than fifty years ago in Nazi-occupied Leiden have had a special and enduring impact. Were it not for Miep Gies, the world would never have met Anne Frank.
Gies was born in 1909 in Vienna. At the age of eleven, recovering from tuberculosis and suffering from poor nutrition, she was sent to live with a family in Amsterdam. Her Dutch foster parents already had five children. Despite their modest income they welcomed her into their family, sharing with her everything they had. The love and compassion she received from her new family impressed Miep profoundly and she decided to make Holland her permanent home. Miep was influenced by the values of her foster family. Later, when her employer, Otto Frank, asked her if she was prepared to take responsibility for his family in hiding, she answered yes without hesitation. It is our human duty to help those who are in trouble, Miep said in Ann Arbor. I could foresee many, many sleepless nights and a miserable life if I had refused to help the Franks. Yes, I have wept countless times when I thought of my dear friends. But still, I am happy that these are not tears of remorse for refusing to assist those in trouble.
Miep provided the Franks with food, clothing, and books during their years in hiding to the best of her ability she addressed all of their daily material needs. She was also one of the few links with the outside world for the Franks and their friends, and she was their main source of hope and cheer. She knowingly faced great personal risk, acting out of integrity and in consonance with her own internal values. Miep tried to rescue the Frank family after they were taken from the attic, attempting to bribe the Austrian SS officer who had arrested them. Miep even went to Nazi headquarters to negotiate a deal, fully aware that this bold move could cost her life.
After the Franks were betrayed and arrested, Mieps task continued. She climbed the attic stairs one more time to retrieve Annes writings, finding them scattered on the floor. Miep quickly gathered up the notebooks and kept them for Annes expected return after the war. When she learned of Annes death in Bergen-Belsen, Miep gave Otto Frank his daughters notebooks. Ever since, Miep has mourned the cruel fate of her friends in the attic. Every year on the fourth of August, I close the curtains of my home and do not answer the doorbell or the telephone, she said. It is the day that my Jewish friends were taken away to the death camps. I have never overcome that shock.
Mieps message in her Wallenberg Lecture was one of hope: I feel strongly that we should not wait for our political leaders to make this world a better place. Miep Gies has been honored around the world for her moral courage. In Israel the Yad Vashem Memorial pays tribute to her as a Righteous Gentile.
Apr 12, 2011 · Miep Gies was born into a working-class, Catholic family in Vienna, Austria, on February 15, 1909. At age 11, with food shortages in her native land following World War I, she was sent to the ...