Despite her involvement in hiding the Frank family during World War II, Miep Gies was not arrested by the Nazis.
Miep Gies played an instrumental role in safeguarding the narrative of Anne Frank. Despite her significant contribution to preserving the Frank family’s clandestine existence, Gies remarkably evaded arrest and punishment.
This article delves into the circumstances of her evasion and explores her brave actions that underscore the compelling narrative of courage, humanity, and resilience in the face of profound adversity.
Was Miep Gies Arrested And Punished?
Miep Gies played a pivotal role in one of the most powerful narratives of the Holocaust, the story of Anne Frank and her family’s clandestine existence in Amsterdam during World War II.
Her role is unquestionable as the person responsible for safeguarding Anne Frank’s diary and ensuring its survival. However, despite her close involvement with the Frank family, Miep was not arrested and punished for her actions.
On August 4, 1944, the secret annex where Anne Frank, her family, and four other Jews hid was discovered. All occupants were arrested, along with Victor Kugler and Johannes Kleiman, who were fellow helpers and employees at Otto Frank’s business.
However, Miep Gies and Bep Voskuijl, another helper, were not taken into custody. Gies’ escape from arrest was a twist of fate. The officer who interrogated her happened to be from Vienna, her birthplace.
Recognizing his accent, she mentioned their familiar hometown. This shared connection seemed to have affected the officer, who, after pacing and cursing, decided to let her stay.
Thus, Gies managed to avoid arrest and the subsequent punishment that would have inevitably followed.
What Did Miep Gies Do?
Miep Gies, born Hermine Santrouschitz, was an Austrian by birth who had moved to the Netherlands as a child. She began working for Otto Frank in 1933, and she grew close to the Frank family over time.
When the Nazis started their Campaign of persecution against the Jews, Gies, along with her husband Jan and other Opekta employees, offered to hide the Frank family in the secret annex above Otto Frank’s business premises.
For twenty-five months, from July 6, 1942, to August 4, 1944, they aided the Frank family and four other Jews, helping them maintain their clandestine existence. Gies provided food and other necessities to the families in hiding
She would spread her purchases across different suppliers to avoid arousing suspicion and never carried more than what a single shopping bag could hold. This careful planning ensured the survival of the people in hiding for over two years.
After discovering and arresting the hidden families, Gies and Voskuijl retrieved parts of Anne Frank’s diary before the authorities emptied the hiding place. She safeguarded these papers until Otto Frank returned from Auschwitz in June 1945.
Gies then handed over the diary to him, which he later compiled and published, sharing his daughter’s insightful narrative with the world. Through her actions, Miep Gies demonstrated extraordinary courage and humanity.
She risked her safety to protect and aid others, showing a remarkable commitment to doing what was right in the face of terrible adversity. Despite this, she consistently maintained that she was not a hero.
According to her, she did what any decent person would have done in her place. Her modesty, coupled with her brave actions, serves as a testament to her extraordinary character.