Sunday, 15 February 2009

Happy 100th Birthday Miep Gies


Today Miep Gies celebrates her 100th birthday. Her name may be unfamiliar to many people, but she is one of the great heroines of the Second World War, who risked her life daily by hiding Anne Frank and her family from Nazi persecution.

Miep denies that she is a hero. On her official website she says: “I stand at the end of the long, long line of good Dutch people who did what I did or more – much more - during those dark and terrible times years ago, but always like yesterday in the hearts of those of us who bear witness. Never a day goes by that I do not think of what happened then.”

The Diary of Anne Frank is now one of the most widely read books in the world and without Miep Gies, this tragic and fascinating insight into life under Nazi occupation would never have come to light.

A mere “Happy Birthday” seems somehow insufficient to someone whose selfless actions have ensured that future generations will never forget the horror of the Holocaust so, as we say in Yiddish, “Biz hundert un tsvantsik” - you should live until 120.

4 comments:

Rog T said...

Happy Birthday Meip Gies,

On the theme I explored in my blog ealrier this week, I guess the various holocaust deniers find people like Meip Gap a bit inconvenient. I hope she lives till she's 220.

Anonymous said...

I took my children to the Anne Frank museum last summer, my 9 and 11 year old boys were deeply affected by it. My youngest said he hoped he would have been brave enough to shelter people. My eldest said, very quietly, it would have been us needing shelter. A very sombering moment. How many people in this day and age of me first would act as Meip Gap?

Don't Call Me Dave said...

On Miep’s website she says: “I am afraid that if people feel that I am a very special person, a sort of heroine, they may doubt whether they will do the same I once did. Not many consider themself very talented or courageous and thus would refrain from helping endangered people. This the reason that I want everyone to know that I am a very common and cautious woman and definitely not a genius or dare-devil. I did help like so many others who ran the same or more risk than me. It was necessary so I helped.”

Despite her modesty, there are very few people in the world today as brave as she was, willing to risk her life every day.

The following quotation, also on her website, should act as an inspiration to all of us:

“It is always better to try than to do nothing, because not trying secures complete failure.

cathy brown said...

happy b-day Mrs.meip i'm cathy and I had to do a reshearch paper on you. thank you for being a inspirarion on me to help,I had heard of the Holocaust but really didnt know what it was and because of you I have learned so much. :) smile,Thank you