Though she would eschew the label of hero, in my mind that is exactly what Miep Gies was. In a time when it was far easier to side with status quo, Miep stood to be counted when she attempted to shelter two families from the horror of concentration camps and extermination. How many today when faced with the same decision would have the courage to do what Mrs. Gies did? Not only did she attempt to shelter these families, after the Gestapo raided their small hiding place she kept Anne’s diary safe.
I read The Diary of Anne Frank when I was nine years old. It is a story that has stayed with me all the days of my life. It taught me about the cruelty we are all capable of and the courage that we all have the ability to display in the face of human tragedy. It is a timeless lesson to all of those who persist in the belief that there is something to be gained from hate.
I do not have the words to properly eulogize a shero of the magnitude of Miep Gies and so I turn you over to the New York Times. I can only say that the world is a better place because Miep Gies lived.