Last Anne Frank helper Miep Gies dies at 100

Tue Jan 12, 2010 1:13pm EST
 
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By Greg Roumeliotis

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The last survivor of a group that helped Anne Frank and her family hide from the Nazis in Amsterdam during World War Two and kept her diaries, has died at the age of 100.

Miep Gies, a Dutch office assistant, was one of a handful of non-Jews who provided Anne's Jewish family with supplies at a secret warehouse annex in Amsterdam between July 1942 and August 1944, before the building was raided by the Nazi SS.

Gies died on Monday night following a short illness, according to a statement on her website.

"There is nothing special about me," Gies wrote in a book first published in 1987. "I have never wanted special attention. I was only willing to do what was asked of me and what seemed necessary at the time."

After Anne and her family were taken to concentration camps, where Anne died in 1945, Gies saved her diaries and handed them over to Anne's father Otto, who survived the camps and published the records in 1947.

As a result Frank became famous posthumously for the diaries she kept during the war. Now translated into more than 70 languages, her diaries remain one of the world's best-selling books, vividly describing life during those years.

After the war, Gies gave public speeches to keep Anne's memory alive and corresponded with people around the world. She also campaigned against holocaust denial and other causes.

In a letter to Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, Israeli President Shimon Peres said Gies "won the hearts of us all by her heroic efforts" to save Anne, her family and her diary.   Continued...

 
<p>Miep Gies, the last survivor of a group that helped Anne Frank and her family hide from the Nazis in Amsterdam during World War Two and kept her diaries, is seen in this February 2009 file photo. REUTERS/Teresien da Silva-Anne Frank House/Handout</p>