12 Jan 2010

Guardian of Anne Frank diary dies at 100

6:11 pm on 12 January 2010

The woman who saved the diary of Anne Frank for posterity has died in the Netherlands aged 100.

The diary documents Anne Frank's experiences in hiding during Nazi Germany's occupation of the Netherlands in the World War II and is regarded as one of the most intimate accounts of the Holocaust, the BBC reports.

Miep Gies was the last survivor of the group of employees of Anne Frank's father who helped feed and protect eight people hiding in the secret annex above Otto Frank's business in Amsterdam.

When the Nazis invaded the Netherlands Mrs Gies, together with her husband and colleagues, helped hide Otto Frank, his wife and daughters and four other people in the company's building.

Mrs Gies found Anne's diary and other papers after the Frank family were arrested by the Gestapo in 1944 and deported.

She collected up the papers and locked them away, hoping that one day she would be able to give them back to the girl at the end of the war.

However, Anne Frank died of typhus in the German concentration camp of Bergen-Belsen.

Mrs Gies returned the papers to Otto Frank, who survived the war, and helped him compile them into a diary that was published in 1947 and went on to sell tens of millions of copies in dozens of languages.

Mrs Gies died in a nursing home after suffering a fall just before Christmas.

Speaking last year as she celebrated her 100th birthday, she played down her role, saying others had done far more to protect Jews in the Netherlands.