Encomium: Miep Gies Miep Gies was a Dutch citizen that hid Anne Frank and her Jewish family during the Holocaust. When Adolf Hitler, a German Dictator, and his soldiers began the Holocaust, The Franks decided to go into hiding and Miep Gies agreed to be their helper. Gies was aware that the punishment for hiding a Jew was the death penalty, however she sacrificed her life, remained loyal to the Franks, and stood for what she knew was right. This is why Miep Gies should be considered a hero and admired for the sacrifices she made.
According to Biography. com, Miep Gies was born on February 15, 1909 as Hermine Santruschitz, in Austria. Her family lived a second classed life and after a while Hermine Santruschitz was placed into a program for malnourished children because her family struggled to take care of her. A few years later she went on to live with the Nieuwenburg family, which nurture her back to a healthy life. The family took Hermine Santruschitz as their own and nicknamed her Miep, she even moved to Amsterdam with the family. At the age of 18 Miep Gies was finished with her schooling and off to the working world.
However at about the age of 24 she was laid off her job because of the Great Depression. She later met Otto Frank, a Jewish businessman, through a neighbor, and began to work for him. Due to the fact that Miep Gies was now working for Mr. Frank they build a relationship. One reason that Miep Gies should be admire is because she was willing to risk her life for the safety of others. The punishment for anyone that hid a Jew or went in any Jewish establishment was death, and although she could have lost her life she still decided to look after the family.
She would travel to different grocery stores to buy food for the hiding family and made sure they had all they need. When asked by students in an interview after the Holocaust,“What was it like knowing that the fate of eight people rested in your hands and that you were on of their most valuable resources? ” she answered “I certainly felt responsible. Particularly to find them enough food so they can stay healthy, that was always on my mind. ” Gies main focus was not her own needs but the needs of the family that depended on her. Gies should also be admired because she remain loyal to the family.
In the same interview she expressed how “it was not easy to keep the people in hiding a secret” however she knew did not betray them no matter how difficult it made her life. She did not tell many individuals about her secret because she did not want anyone to tell the authorities. Neither did she complain to the authorities due to the extra work she had to put in to take in another family. She continues in the interview to say she “never considered betraying the Franks”. The last reason that Gies should be admired is because she stood by what she believed is right.
Later on in the interview she explained how she felt as if “they were discriminating against people for no reason those people could not help or change. Just for being Jewish. It made those people feel defenseless. What could they possibly do? Just sit there and wait in fear. This was terrorizing poor Jews, even at the time that they could live in their own homes. ” Being that she felt that way about the situation she took action and did what she believed what was right. Miep Gies had relationship with the Franks before the War had begun, that is why she was so comfortable with helping them.
However when asked would she have helped anymore Jews she responded “of course’. I admired that her heart was so big for people whether she knew them or not. Miep Gies was not so rich and power, however she was wise with what she had and she used it to her advantages to help others no matter the cost. When the Franks were captured she was taken in for interrogation. She recognized that the guard that was interrogating her was from Vienna, her home town, and manage to escape any further punishment. The way she was able to escape her punishment proves that she was an intelligent individual.
Now although Miep Gies did not wear a cap and she did not have a theme song or a grand introduction when she arrived, she made a big impact. She hid the Franks for two long year just by sacrificing her safety, being loyal, and taking action in what she believed was right. Although she did not have major speeches across the globe or a holiday dedicated to her, she should be admired because she saw a situation she did all she could to fix it instead of being a bystander and that deserves endless recognition.