She married a Dutch guy and worked for Otto Frank, becoming close with his family. She, along with several co-workers, concealed the Franks in a secret annex to work for over a couple of years before their discovery by the Gestapo. She saved Anne Frank’s diaries and afterwards returned them to Otto Frank, the only survivor of his family. He’d them released. Because there was little work and food shortages were regular in the aftermath of World War I, Hermine was admitted right into a Dutch program for malnourished kids.
In December 1920, she was put using the Nieuwenburg family in Leiden to help recover her strength and well-being. The family nicknamed her Miep, and not the name stuck Miep remained with her foster family long past the first three months, moving with them to Amsterdam. She did go back to find her family in Vienna when she was 16, but trepidation about being forced to remain there prevented her from completely appreciating the visit. She was considerably relieved when her parents told her they comprehended and accepted her love for her adopted nation and family.
Miep completed her education at 18 and got work at work of a textile company, where she worked until she was 24, when she was laid off as a result of Depression. After several months of joblessness, a neighbor alarmed Miep into a potential place at Nederlandsche Opekta, a firm that supplied parts for making jam. They bonded through their fractured Dutch and smooth German, and when Miep passed her jam-making test she promptly started working for him.
Miep and her boyfriend, Jan Gies, courted for years but could not manage to get married. They eventually located home, but soon later, in the spring of 1940, the Nazis invaded the Netherlands and Miep was ordered to go back to her native Vienna. Having felt the danger, Miep had written a letter to Queen Wilhelmina in 1939 within an effort to reach Dutch nationality. Due to some fortunate link of her uncle’s in the Viennese civil service, Miep could get her birth certificate in the necessary time.
In June of 1942, taking into consideration the worsening situation for the Jews, the Franks determined to go into hiding in the secret annex of the office building. Along using a select few others, Miep consented to be a “helper,” bringing them food that she’d assemble from distinct grocers with prohibited ration cards her husband had procured within the Dutch resistance. Miep and her co-workers also kept the company afloat, supplying income and making the building a low profile heart of action.
She and her coworkers could maintain the family concealed for over a couple of years, but finally they were betrayed. But just Otto Frank returned. When they learned the remaining family had perished in the camps, she gave him the diaries. Otto continued to reside together with the Gieses until 1953. Although Anne’s diaries were printed in 1947, Miep hadn’t ever read them, but Otto eventually got her to achieve this within their second impression. Miep Gies expired on January 11, 2010, in a nursing home following a tumble, just a month shy of her 101st birthday.
She released a memoir, Anne Frank Remembered, in 1987, which gives an illuminating link to the Secret Annex. As a woman of courage and confidence, she toured and lectured about the lessons of the Holocaust and Anne Frank’s heritage, but Miep consistently insisted she wasn’t a hero; she just did what many other “great Dutch folks” did. Anne Frank said of her, “we’re never far from Miep’s ideas.” And really, Miep and her husband allowed August 4 as a particular day of memory.
Miep received many awards late in life, for example, Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Yad Vashem Medal as well as the Wallenberg Medal. In taking the latter honour, she said, “I believe strongly that people shouldn’t await our political leaders to make this world a much better location.”