How many people around the world have read the compelling diary of Anne Frank, who spent more than two years hiding in the Netherlands before being shipped off to a Nazi death camp? Her story would not have been told without the efforts of Miep Gies, who died Jan. 11 at age 100.
Gies, who was born as Hermine Santrouschitz to a Catholic family in Vienna, Austria, was a secretary to Otto Frank, Anne’s father. You can read her biography on the site of the Anne Frank Museum. When the Frank family was arrested by the Gestapo, Gies helped gather up Anne’s diary, which she later returned to her boss when he was released from the concentration camp. Anne Frank died in Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.
Gies is a good example of many things, including putting the safety of a persecuted minority before personal safety. She can serve as an inspiration to many in today’s world.