Miep Gies Quotes from Anne Frank's Diary of a Young Girl

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

In this lesson, we will learn about Miep Gies, one of the helpers that supported Anne and the other people who were hiding out in the Annex, by looking at and examining some quotes about Miep from Anne Frank's 'Diary of a Young Girl.'

Daily Survival

In Anne Frank's Diary of a Young Girl, we not only learn about the eight people who survive for two years living in an attic, but we also hear about some of the helpers that made it possible. One of those helpers was Miep Gies, a secretary for Anne's father's business. She was perhaps the most crucial helper when it came to the day-to-day survival of those hiding in the Annex. Let's learn more about Miep by looking at some of the quotes from the novel.

Miep Helps the Franks Move into Their Hide-Out

After Anne's sister, Margot, receives a call-up notice to report to a labor camp in Germany, the Frank's are prompted into action ten days earlier than they had intended to begin hiding out with Otto, Frank's business partner, and his family. Anne writes, 'Miep, who's worked for Father's company since 1933, has become a close friend, and so has her husband Jan.' Because Miep is a good friend, that day, Miep and Jan make two trips to the Frank's home taking all that they can inconspicuously carry to the hiding place in the Frank's office building.

First Miep escorts Margot to the annex, and then leads the rest of them to their home for the next two years. Anne reflects on that journey, 'Miep quickly led us through the long hallway and up the wooden staircase to the next floor and into the Annex. She shut the door behind us, leaving us alone.'

We can only imagine what it must have been like to be confined to a small space where you can't leave, and you can't see most of your friends. Anne expresses frustration that she '… can't ever go outside, and the only visitors we can have are Miep, her husband Jan, Bep Voskuijl, Mr. Voskuijl, Mr. Kugler, Mr. Kleiman and Mrs. Kleiman, though she hasn't come because she thinks it's too dangerous.' Their world had become very limited.

Miep is the Franks Connection to the Outside World

Since she can't go anywhere, Anne enjoys hearing about things that are happening in the outside world from Miep. Anne tells the story of an annoying client that wants to meet with Miep. In order to avoid the meeting, Miep claims she is out for the day. Each time the client calls, Miep '…had to imitate Bep's voice.' Anne writes, 'Now each time the phone rings, Bep says' 'That's Mrs. Dreher!' and Miep has to laugh, so that the people on the other end of the line are greeted with an impolite giggle. Can't you just picture it? This has got to be the greatest office in the whole wide world.'

Sometimes, Miep also delivers bad news. According to Miep, 'The Gestapo (Nazi secret police) is treating them (Jewish friends) very roughly and transporting them in cattle cars to Westerbork, the big camp in Drenthe to which they're sending all the Jews. Miep told us about someone who'd managed to escape from there…The people get almost nothing to eat, much less to drink, as water is available only one hour a day, and there's only one toilet and sink for several thousand people.'

Miep felt terrible when '… the Gestapo deposited an elderly, crippled Jewish woman on Miep's doorstep while they set off to find a car. The old woman was terrified of the glaring searchlights and the guns firing at the English planes overhead. Yet Miep didn't dare let her in.' After all, Miep could have really gotten into serious trouble if she had let the elderly woman in.

Miep Carries the Burden of Tending to their Daily Needs

On birthdays and holidays, Miep tries to make the days special. For example, on Dussel's birthday, 'Miep arrived with a large shopping bag overflowing with gifts, … eggs, butter, cookies, lemonade, bread, cognac, spice cake, flowers, oranges, chocolate, books and writing paper.'

Miep provides food, books, and other needs to the group on a daily basis to make sure that all of their needs are met, but that doesn't seem to address their emotions. Anne writes, 'Miep often says she envies us because we have such peace and quiet here. That may be true, but she's obviously not thinking about our fear.'

Miep also tells them stories about parties she goes to, such as an engagement party for her cousins, where everyone enjoys food and drink. While there, Miep meets some officers from the Homicide Squad. Anne notes, 'You can see we're never far from Miep's thoughts, since she promptly noted their names and addresses in case anything should happen and we needed contacts with good Dutch people.'

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