This Monday marked the passing of Miep Gies, the last surviving member of the group that hid Anne Frank and her family during the Holocaust. Gies, the Christian Dutch woman who died at age 100 after a fall, is credited with preserving Anne's diary and giving it to Anne's father, Otto (the only member of Anne's family to survive the death camps), after the Holocaust.
Reading about Gies's death reminded me of falling in love as a teenager with The Hiding Place, Corrie ten Boom's story of hiding Jews in Holland during World War II. Despite the horror within its pages, I read the book over and over, moved by ten Boom's incredible faith. "I would do that," I told myself as I read the book. "If I had lived then, I would have done exactly what her family did. I would not have stood silently by."
In college I cried my way through the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., and attended a lecture by a woman who had been active in the movement to shelter Jews in Poland. I had impassioned conversations ...1