Monday, July 11, 2016

All Lady July - Book Review: "Anne Frank Remembered: The Story of the Woman Who Helped to Hide the Frank Family" by Miep Gies, Allison Leslie Gold

Most people are familiar with the story of Anne Frank, and for good reason. But less people know about the people who helped hide Anne, her family, and others during those scary war years.

 Miep was born in Vienna, but was basically adopted by an Amsterdam-ian (Amsterdamish? Amsterdamiantie?) couple when she was very small. She strove to be independent and when she was old enough she found a job.

Miep Gies worked in an office where eventually Mr Frank became employed when his family fled Germany. He was smart and kind and Miep liked him right away. Miep and her husband Jan became close with him, and eventually the whole Frank family when they arrived from Germany. Miep and Jan were well aware of current events and knew that Amsterdam was becoming increasingly dangerous for their friends the Franks. They would have neighbors disappear (hopefully to a place that was safe for hiding and not taken away by the Nazis) and see things in the street. So when Miep was approached to help the Franks she said yes right away, despite the fact that it could be very dangerous. 

What I think makes this book the most interesting is the daily struggles of the people hiding the Franks and keeping them alive. Finding enough food for the whole group,  trying to bring them news of the outside world so they don't feel isolated  but not so much that they get scared, not attracting attention to themselves in any weird way (like when they thought something was wrong in the attic and they had to force themselves to walk slowly instead of sprinting to the building because that would look weird), and the list goes on and on. Also, the book reminded me how close the group was to making it to the end of the war. Heartbreakingly close.

If you like memoirs, or find stories like Anne's compelling I would highly recommend this read. It's less than 300 pages and reads pretty quickly. Though, as you might imagine, it's not a happy ending for the majority of people in the book.


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