Miep Gies, Who Helped Hide Anne Frank From the Nazis, Lived to Be 100 Years Old

Chris Barilla - Author
By

May 1 2023, Published 11:39 a.m. ET

Miep Gies photographed candidly
Source: Rob Bogaerts / Anefo / Wikimedia Commons

The long and storied life of Miep Gies is earmarked by resiliency, perseverance, and conscious defiance against her oppressors. The everyday Dutch citizen-turned-hero is immortalized in history thanks to her role in keeping Anne Frank safe from the Nazis during the heat of World War II.

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In the years following the war, Miep was honored time and time again for her important role in protecting Anne for some time as well as ensuring that her now-famous diary made it to the right people. She lived a long and remarkable life, but what exactly was her cause of death? Let's unpack what we know.

Miep and Jan Gies photographed candidly together
Source: Rob Bogaerts / Anefo / Wikimedia Commons
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What was Miep Gies' cause of death?

Not only did Miep Gies accomplish feats that helped shape the course of modern history, she also lived quite a long life. Born on Feb. 15, 1909, Miep lived to be 100 years old, having died on Jan. 11, 2010. As for her cause of death, it was unfortunately attributed to injuries she suffered as a result of a fall at her nursing home in Hoorn, The Netherlands, per The New York Times.

Miep, along with other employees of Otto Frank, Anne's father, supplied food and water to the Frank family and the other Jewish hideouts while they stayed in a secret part of the attic above Otto's business in Amsterdam during the Nazi occupation of the area. Miep was able to keep the family safe until Aug. 4, 1944, when she was approached by an officer with the Grüne Polizei, who had been tipped off that Jewish people were being hidden in on the premises.

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Miep managed to avoid persecution for her role in protecting the Frank family and others because she recognized the arresting officer's accent as being from Vienna, her hometown. After sympathizing with him, he agreed to leave her be.

Miep attempted to buy the Frank family's freedom, but was denied the ability to do so. When the war ended, it was confirmed that Anne died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

Miep and Jan Gies
Source: Rob Bogaerts / Anefo / Wikimedia Commons
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After the Frank family's initial arrest, Miep retrieved parts of Anne's diary and hid them safely until the end of the war. When fighting ceased, Miep gave stewardship of the diary to Otto, being the only surviving member of the family. Miep admitted that she had never read the diary prior to giving it to Otto and said that if she did, she likely would have destroyed it as it contained her name and the names of others who helped hide the Franks from the Nazis.

Otto published his daughter's diary in 1947. He was only able to persuade Miep to read it after "prolonged insistence," according to AnneFrank.org. Over the years that followed, Miep was given an array of awards such as the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Wallenberg medal, and the Yad Vashem Righteous Among the Nations medal.

On top of that, Miep was knighted in the Order of Orange-Nassau by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and even had a minor planet named after her: 99949 Miepgies.

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