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Woman Who Hid Anne Frank Honored

November 7, 1989
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The West German government has presented its highest civilian award for a foreigner to Miep Gies, the Dutch woman who hid the family of Anne Frank from the Nazis during World War II.

Gies received the Order of Merit First Class from the West German ambassador, Otto von der Gabelentz, at the Federal Republic’s embassy in The Hague last Friday.

She was cited for her help to the Frank family from July 1942 to August 1944, and also for her lectures to youth groups and schools in West Germany in recent years.

Gies, who speaks fluent German, was born in Vienna and came to Holland at age 17.

Accepting the award, she said she shared it with thousands of others who had tried, successfully or not, to help Jews survive during the Nazi occupation of Holland.

In the United States, Gies received the Courage to Care Award from the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith in 1987 for being a “Righteous Gentile,” and has been the subject of a book, “Anne Frank Remembered,” and a film, “The Secret Annex: the Hiding of Anne Frank.”

She said when she received the ADL award that she had agreed to come forward from obscurity so that the wartime story would not be forgotten.

“We were just doing what people should do,” she said many times of herself, her husband and the others who helped hide the Franks and others.

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