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Anne Frank's helper Miep Gies dies

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Anne Frank's helper Miep Gies dies
Photo: DPA
16:00 CET+01:00
The last living helper of Anne Frank and her family has died in the Netherlands just ahead of her 101st birthday, her son announced on Tuesday.

Austrian-born Miep Gies, known for her role in helping to hide the Jewish family Frank in Amsterdam from Nazis during the Second World War, passed away in a retirement home on Monday evening, her son Paul Gies said.

Born February 15, 1909 in Vienna as Hermine Santrouschitz, Gies hid and cared for the Franks and other Jewish families during the war at the risk of her own life. Just hours after the Frank family's hiding place was discovered by the Gestapo on August 4, 1944, Gies returned to their hideout to save Anne Frank's now legendary diary, which she wrote between 1942 and 1944.

Anne died close to her 16th birthday of typhus at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in March 1945 – just a few weeks before the end of the war.

Gies gave the diary to Anne's only surviving relative, her father Otto Frank, when he returned to Amsterdam after the war. Years later he had the work published as “Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl,” and it went on to move millions of people around the world.

In the diary, Frank wrote about how Gies brought her family vegetables and library books each Saturday, a day they waited for like “children for a gift.”

Gies was honoured by the state of Israel and the Netherlands, and often spoke publicly of her experiences during World War II. She lived in the Netherlands province of Friesland.

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