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.