Miep Gies – A Biography
Hermine (Miep) Gies-Santrouschitz was born in Vienna in 1909. Her parents sent her to the Netherlands after World War I along with other children who came to recuperate fromtuberculosis and malnutrition. She liked the Netherlands so much that her parents gave her permission of her parents to stay on with her Dutch family.
Working for Otto Frank
In 1933 she beganworking as Otto Frank’s secretary at Opekta, his trading company in gelling agents for making jam. Shortly afterwards Miep met Otto’s wife Edith and their daughters Margot and Anne. They had fled fromGermany and thought they would be safe in the Netherlands. Miep and her boyfriend Jan Gies visited the Frank family frequently, and became friends. When Miep and Jan married in 1941 Otto Frankorganised a party for them at the office.
Helping the Frank family
When Otto approached Miep in the spring of 1942 to ask her to help his family go into hiding, she did not hesitate. She helped thepeople in hiding for more than two years, together with her colleagues Johannes Kleiman, Victor Kugler and Bep Voskuijl. She made sure that Otto, his wife Edith and their daughters Margot and Anne, theVan Pels family and later Fritz Pfeffer were supplied with food and other essential provisions daily. Meanwhile she continued to work for Opekta and contributed to keeping the business going. Herhusband, Jan Gies, organised the ration coupons needed to buy groceries during the war, and like Miep he visited the Secret Annexe daily. What the residents of the hiding place did not know was that Miepand her husband had someone else hidden in their home. By helping the people in hiding Miep and Jan Gies were putting their own lives at risk.
Diary Anne Frank
The residents of the Secret Annexwere betrayed. The Gestapo took them away on August 4, 1944. Two other Opekta employees and helpers, Jo Kleiman and Victor Kugler, were also arrested. Miep Gies and the typist Bep Voskuijl were left...
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