Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Good Dutch People

Miep Gies died two days ago, not a name that most of us know. She was a co-worker and friend of Otto Franks, who most of us know as the father of Anne Frank. Miep helped hide Anne and her family and another family, the van Pels. They all hid in fear for 25 months before they were turned in by an informer and taken away, only Otto returned after the war.

Miep and her husband Jan, victor Kugler, Johannes Kleiman, Bep Voskuijl and her father Johannes brought food, news, clothing everything they needed to survive in their hiding place. After the Franks and van Pels were taken away Miep found Anne's papers and stashed them away. When Otto returned he was taken in by Miep and Jan and Miep returned Anne's papers to him. That was all he had left of his family. Those notes of the 25 months became the best selling Diary of a Young Girl, if you have never read it, get it and read it.

Miep wrote that she was not a hero, but stood at the end of the long, long line of good Dutch people who did what I did and more during those dark and terrible times.

I feel that hero is a really overused word, but Miep fits the definition in my book. I think she is wrong, I think there was a long line of Dutch people (and others) that stood by and did nothing. She and the others put their own lives on the line and some of them paid with their lives. Miep lived a long life and she tried to make life better for a small group of people and for 25 months she succeeded.

1 comment:

D.D. said...

And we must never forget.