Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Miep Gies, R.I.P.

If we were to write a remembrance to every notable person who has passed on, this blog would quickly become a memorial section. We do not want that. However, for each one of us there are some folks’ passing that hit extra hard. For me, one of those folks passed away Monday. Her name was Miep Gies. She worked tirelessly to hide and provide for Anne Frank and the others sheltered in an Amsterdam canal warehouse. I wrote about Ms. Gies last August. That post can be found here.

Ms. Gies refused to be considered a hero. In recent years she told school children "I don't want to be considered a hero. Imagine young people would grow up with the feeling that you have to be a hero to do your human duty. I am afraid nobody would ever help other people, because who is a hero? I was not. I was just an ordinary housewife and secretary." Her humility coupled with her bravery truly mark her a hero, even if that made her uncomfortable.

Miep Gies’ Anne Frank Remembered is a great companion to Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl.

I would also like to highlight a World War II memoir I read over the weekend: Hans Erich Nossack’s The End: Hamburg 1943. Mr. Nossack fortuitously was in the countryside surrounding Hamburg during the nights it was destroyed by aerial bombings. The End is the incredible account of his emotions, fears, and thoughts upon entering his devastated city.

1 comment:

Trevor said...

Enjoying the APL blog very much. Please keep up the good work. Another fantastic WWII memoir is "One Man's War," by Tommy Lamore. His B-17 bomber was shot down, and he has a terrifying and romantic adventure with the French resistance, the Red Army, and a beautiful woman liberated from a Nazi death camp. Throughout, he stresses the fear and weariness that he experienced.