DIALOGUE
                            MIEP GIES

COMING UP, FOR MORE THAN TWO YEARS SHE RISKED HER LIFE EVERY DAY
TO HELP THE ANNE FRANK FAMILY.  WE HEAR FROM MIEP GIES NEXT, ON
DIALOGUE.

FUNDING FOR DIALOGUE IS PROVIDED FOR BY THE FRIENDS OF IDAHO
PUBLIC TELEVISION, THE STATE OF IDAHO, AND THE CORPORATION FOR
PUBLIC BROADCASTING.

MARCIA FRANKLIN, HOST:
GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO DIALOGUE.  I'M MARCIA FRANKLIN.  

WHEN A YOUNG WOMAN NAMED MIEP GIES WENT TO WORK FOR OTTO FRANK AT
HIS AMSTERDAM BUSINESS IN 1933, THE NAZIS WERE ALREADY IN POWER
IN GERMANY.  BUT THE 24 YEAR OLD OFFICE WORKER, LIKE MOST FOLKS
IN THE NETHERLANDS, THOUGHT SHE WAS SAFE, THAT HITLER WAS A
GERMAN PROBLEM.  INDEED, HER JEWISH BOSS, OTTO FRANK, WHO COULD
HAVE MOVED FAR AWAY FROM HIS NATIVE GERMANY, CHOSE HOLLAND
BECAUSE JEWS WERE WELCOME THERE.  AND FOR SEVEN YEARS, THAT'S HOW
IT WAS.

BUT IN MAY 1940, AFTER JUST FOUR DAYS OF FIGHTING, THE DUTCH ARMY
CAPITULATED TO HITLER.  IN THE NEXT TWO YEARS, LIFE BECAME
INCREASINGLY DIFFICULT FOR JEWS.  THEY COULDN'T GO TO DUTCH
SCHOOLS.  THOSE WHO WERE PUBLIC EMPLOYEES HAD TO RESIGN THEIR
JOB.  THEIR ASSETS WERE FROZEN, AND THEY HAD TO HAND IN THEIR
BICYCLES AND THEIR RADIOS.  AND THEN THE GERMANS BEGAN DEPORTING
THEM TO CONCENTRATION CAMPS. 

LITERALLY OVERNIGHT, MIEP GIES, THE OFFICE MANAGER IN MR. FRANK'S
BUSINESS, BECAME ONE OF HIS FAMILY'S PROTECTORS.  ALTOGETHER,
EIGHT JEWS HID IN THE ATTIC ABOVE THE FACTORY, INCLUDING MR.
FRANK, HIS WIFE, AND THEIR TWO DAUGHTERS, MARGOT AND ANNE.  EVERY
DAY GIES AND HER HUSBAND, ALONG WITH THREE OTHER WORKERS TRIED TO
GO ABOUT THEIR NORMAL BUSINESS.  AFTER HOURS, THOUGH, THEY WERE
SCROUNGING FOOD, CLOTHING, MEDICINE AND BOOKS WHEREVER THEY
COULD.  "MIEP IS JUST LIKE A PACK MULE," WROTE ANNE FRANK IN HER
DIARY.  "SHE FETCHES AND CARRIES SO MUCH."  

WHAT ANNE'S HELPERS DID WAS A CRIME IN THOSE DAYS, AND EVENTUALLY
SEVERAL OF THEM WOULD PAY FOR HELPING THE FAMILIES.  BUT AS YOU
WILL HEAR, FOR THEM AND FOR MIEP, THERE WAS ABSOLUTELY NO
QUESTION BUT THAT THEY WOULD TRY AND PROTECT THEIR JEWISH FRIENDS
FROM BEING SHIPPED TO DEATH CAMPS.

THEY WERE ABLE TO SAVE THEM FOR MORE THAN TWO YEARS.  BUT ON
AUGUST 4, 1944, AT 9 O'CLOCK IN THE MORNING, THE BEGINNING OF THE
END ARRIVED.  SOMEONE, IT'S STILL NOT KNOWN WHO, BETRAYED THE
JEWS IN THE ATTIC.  NAZIS TOOK THEM AWAY, ALONG WITH SEVERAL OF
THE HELPERS.  AS ONE OF THE PROTECTORS WAS LEAVING, HE TOLD MIEP,
"IT'S UP TO YOU TO SAVE WHAT CAN BE SAVED HERE."  

WITH HER HUSBAND AND ANOTHER HELPER, MIEP WENT INTO THE ATTIC. 
ON THE FLOOR OF THE RANSACKED ROOM, SHE SAW A FAMILIAR CHECKERED
BOOK ALONG WITH SCATTERED PAPERS.  IT WAS THE DIARY OF ANNE
FRANK, A CLOSELY GUARDED PIECE OF LITERATURE THAT THE TEENAGER
WORKED ON WHENEVER SHE COULD.  

MIEP LOCKED THE DIARY AWAY, FULLY EXPECTING, SHE SAYS, TO SEE
ANNE FRANK AGAIN.  

AS WE KNOW, THAT DIDN'T HAPPEN.  ANNE FRANK DIED OF TYPHUS IN THE
BERGEN-BELSEN DEATH CAMP IN MARCH 1945, SEVEN MONTHS AFTER HER
ARREST AND ONLY TWO MONTHS BEFORE THE CAMP WAS LIBERATED.  HER
FATHER WAS THE ONLY ONE OF THE GROUP FROM THE ATTIC TO SURVIVE. 
BUT HIS FAMILY, AND JEWS ALL OVER EUROPE WHO WERE MASSACRED BY
THE NAZIS, LIVE ON IN ANNE'S WORDS.

MIEP'S SMALL ACT OF SAVING ANNE'S DIARY HAS PROVIDED INSPIRATION
TO MILLIONS WHO HAVE READ THE BOOK.  

THE FORMER OFFICE MANAGER IS NOW NEARLY 90, A RELUCTANT HERO WHO
SEES HER ROLE AS THAT OF AN EDUCATOR.  SHE IS, SHE SAYS, TRYING
TO PREVENT THE BREEDING GROUND FOR ANOTHER HOLOCAUST BY TEACHING
TOLERANCE.

THIS YEAR, SHE VISITED BOISE, AS A BENEFIT FOR THE NEWLY CREATED
ANNE FRANK CENTER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS.  THE CENTER WILL SPONSOR
EDUCATIONAL EVENTS AND HONOR THE CULTURAL DIVERSITY OF OUR STATE,
AS WELL AS PEOPLE LIKE MIEP GIES WHO HELPED PEOPLE LESS FORTUNATE
THAN THEMSELVES.

VOICE OF ANNE FRANK (ACTRESS):
"ALTHOUGH OTHERS MAY SHOW HEROISM IN THE WAR OR AGAINST THE
GERMANS, OUR HELPERS PROVE THEIR HEROISM IN THEIR CHEERFULNESS
AND AFFECTION."  

MIEP GIES:
PEOPLE OFTEN ASK WHY I FOUND THE COURAGE TO HELP THE FRANKS. 
YES, IT CERTAINLY TAKES SOME COURAGE, SOME DISCIPLINE, AND ALSO
SOME SACRIFICE TO DO YOUR HUMAN DUTY.  BUT THAT IS TRUE FOR SO
MANY THINGS IN LIFE.

THEREFORE THIS QUESTION ALWAYS SURPRISES ME.  BECAUSE I SIMPLY
COULD NOT THINK OF DOING ANYTHING ELSE.  SO WHY DO PEOPLE ASK
THIS QUESTION?  

STEP BY STEP, I STARTED TO UNDERSTAND THAT MANY PEOPLE WONDER WHY
THEY SHOULD ASSIST OTHER PEOPLE BECAUSE WHEN ARE YOUNG, MOST OF
US ARE TOLD BY PARENTS THAT IF WE ACT ALRIGHT, LIFE WILL WORK OUT
FINE FOR US.  

SO, IF PEOPLE HAVE A PROBLEM, THEY MUST HAVE MAKE A SERIOUS
MISTAKE.  WHY SHOULD WE THEN HELP THEM?  I, HOWEVER, HELPED
BECAUSE I DON'T BELIEVE THAT PEOPLE WHO ARE IN TROUBLE DID
SOMETHING WRONG.  I KNEW THAT FROM MY OWN LIFE.  
I REMEMBER THAT AT THE AGE OF 9, I DID NOT GET ENOUGH FOOD.  I
STILL FEEL THE PAIN OF BEING HUNGRY.  I ALSO REMEMBER THE SHOCK I
HAD TO LEAVE MY HOME IN VIENNA TO GO TO HOLLAND IN ORDER TO
OVERCOME A VERY SERIOUS ILLNESS.  DID I DESERVE TO BE THAT SICK? 
NO.  I HAD NOT DONE ANYTHING WRONG.  SO, VERY YOUNG, I KNEW THAT
YOU CAN BE IN TROUBLE WITHOUT, THAT YOU CAN BE BLAMED FOR THAT. 
I FELT THE SAME TO BE TRUE FOR THE FRANK FAMILY.  THEREFORE,
WHATEVER OTHERS WOULD THINK OR SAY, I HAD TO HELP.

THERE WAS ALSO ANOTHER REASON TO DO SUCH.  MANY CHILDREN GREW UP
IN FAMILIES WHERE THEY ARE TOLD TO MIND THEIR OWN BUSINESS ONLY. 
WHEN THOSE CHILDREN BECOME ADULTS, THEY TEND TO LOOK THE OTHER
WAY IF PEOPLE ASK FOR HELP.  HOWEVER, I MYSELF LIVED IN HOLLAND
WITH VERY SOCIAL-MINDED FOSTER PARENTS.  THEY HAD ALREADY FIVE
CHILDREN THEMSELVES AND HAD TO LIVE FROM A MODEST SALARY BUT
STILL TOOK ME, A VERY SICK CHILD, IN THEIR HOME.  WHATEVER THEY
HAD THEY WOULD ALWAYS SHARE WITH OTHERS.  IT MADE A DEEP
IMPRESSION IN ME.  IT MADE ME FEEL I SHOULD DO THE SAME IN MY
LIFE.  

IN MY OPINION, EDUCATION IS VERY IMPORTANT.  MANY CHILDREN
BELIEVE AND TALK THE WAY THEIR PARENTS AND TEACHERS DO, WHICH AT
THE SAME TIME IS A WARNING TO ALL OF US.  FOR INSTANCE, MANY
CHILDREN HEAR THEIR PARENTS AND THEIR TEACHERS SPEAK ABOUT "THE
ASIAN", "THE BLACKS", "THE WHITES", "THE JEWS", "THE ASIANS",
"THE ARABS", WHATEVER.  THAT IS VERY DANGEROUS BECAUSE LUMPING
GROUPS OF PEOPLE TOGETHER MAKE CHILDREN GROW UP WITH THE FEELING
THAT ALL MEMBERS OF THOSE GROUPS THINK AND ACT THE SAME.

HOWEVER, IT IS RACISM TO THINK THAT ALL JEWS, ALL ARABS, ALL
ASIANS ARE THE SAME.  ONCE IN GERMANY, PARENTS DID NOT TELL THEIR
CHILDREN TO ALWAYS LOOK AT EVERYBODY ELSE AS A SINGLE PERSON. 
THIS MADE IT VERY EASY FOR HITLER AND THEREFORE MANY GERMANS GAVE
HITLER THE HELP HE NEEDED TO KILL SIX MILLION JEWS.

CHILDREN SHOULD BE WARNED FOR A WEAKNESS MANY PEOPLE HAVE.  THAT
THIS BLAMING OTHER PEOPLE FOR UNPLEASANT THINGS HAPPENING TO US
EVEN IF IT OUR OWN MISTAKE.

ALL THE TIME ANNE FRANK WAS BORN, GERMANY WAS IN DEEP TROUBLE AND
VERY POOR.  HITLER, WHO WANTED TO COME TO POWER AND WHO KNEW HOW
MUCH WE LIKE TO BLAME OTHER PEOPLE FOR OUR PROBLEMS, OFFERED THE
GERMANS A SCAPEGOAT - THE JEW - AND THEREFORE, MILLIONS OF
GERMANS GRATEFULLY VOTED FOR HITLER.  

STEP BY STEP, THE HAPPINESS AND LIFE OF ALL JEWS WAS DESTROYED. 
MANY PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD LOOKED THE OTHER WAY BECAUSE THEY
THOUGHT IT WAS SAFER NOT TO HELP THE JEWS.  HOWEVER, AT THE END,
NOT JUST SIX MILLION JEWS WERE KILLED BUT TEN TIMES THAT NUMBER
OF NON-JEWS WERE DEAD AS WELL.

THEREFORE, IF WE ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN TO OUR NEIGHBOR, THERE IS
NO GUARANTEE THAT IT WILL STOP AT OUR DOORSTEP.

I FEEL VERY STRONGLY THAT WE CANNOT WAIT FOR OUR LEADERS TO MAKE
THIS WORLD A BETTER PLACE, NO.  WE OURSELF SHOULD MAKE THIS
HAPPEN NOW IN OUR HOMES AND IN OUR SCHOOLS.  

WE SHOULD NEVER FORGET THE VICTIMS OF THE HOLOCAUST.  I MYSELF
ALWAYS THINK OF THE FAMILY FRANK, THE FAMILY VAN DAAN, AND THE
DENTIST, DUSSEL.  VAN DAAN AND DUSSEL WERE THE NAMES ANNE GAVE
THEM.  THE TRUE NAMES WERE VAN PELS AND PFEFFER.  ALSO THE
HELPERS GOT OTHER NAMES FROM ANNE, EXCEPT FOR ME.  WHY DID SHE
DECIDE TO USE MY OWN NAME?  THE ANSWER I WILL NEVER RECEIVE, BUT
IT TOUCHES ME VERY MUCH.

WHAT ME STRUCK MOST ABOUT ANNE WAS HER CURIOSITY.  SHE ASKED ME
ALWAYS ABOUT EVERYTHING THAT WENT ON OUTSIDE.  AND NOT ONLY THAT,
SHE KNEW THAT I HAD JUST MARRIED AND THEREFORE SHE HOPED THAT I
WOULD TELL HER MORE ABOUT BEING SO CLOSE WITH ANOTHER PERSON. 
WELL, I DID NOT YIELD TO THAT (LAUGHTER).

ANNE FELT VERY STRONGLY ABOUT HER PRIVACY.  I ONCE ENTERED THE
ROOM WHERE SHE WAS WRITING HER DIARY.  FROM HER EYES I SAW THAT
SHE GOT ANGRY, MAYBE SHE THOUGHT I WAS SPYING ON HER, WHICH WAS
NOT TRUE, OF COURSE.  

HOWEVER, USUALLY ANNE WAS A FRIENDLY AND ALSO VERY CHARMING GIRL.

I SAY GIRL, BUT TALKING TO HER GAVE ME THE SURPRISING FEELING OF
SPEAKING TO A MUCH OLDER PERSON.  NO WONDER, BECAUSE THE
SITUATION MAKE ANNE GROW UP VERY QUICKLY FROM CHILD TO YOUNG
ADULT.

IN THE FIRST PLACE, THE CHILDREN IN HIDING HAD A HARD TIME.  THEY
MISSED SO MUCH.  THEY COULD NOT PLAY OUTDOORS.  THEY COULD NOT
MEET WITH FRIENDS.  THEY COULD HARDLY MOVE.  WE DID ALL THE
POSSIBLE TO HELP THEM BUT FREEDOM WE COULD NOT GIVE THEM.  THIS
WAS ONE OF THE MOST PAINFUL THINGS FOR US.

EVERY YEAR ON THE FOURTH OF AUGUST, I CLOSE THE CURTAINS OF MY
HOME AND DO NOT ANSWER THE DOORBELL AND THE TELEPHONE.  IT IS THE
DAY THAT MY JEWISH FRIENDS WERE TAKEN AWAY.  I HAVE NEVER
OVERCOME THAT SHOCK.  I LOVED AND ADMIRED THEM SO MUCH.

TWO YEARS THEY HAD TO LIVE WITH EIGHT PEOPLE IN A SMALL PLACE. 
THEY HAD LITTLE FOOD AND WERE NOT ALLOWED TO GO OUT.  THEY COULD
NOT SPEAK TO THEIR FRIENDS AND FAMILY.  ON THE TOP OF THAT, CAME
THE FEAR, EVERY HOUR OF THE DAY.  

I HAVE NO WORD TO DESCRIBE THESE PEOPLE WHO WERE STILL ALWAYS
FRIENDLY AND GRATEFUL.  YES, I DO HAVE A WORD, "HEROES".  TRUE
HEROES THEY WERE.  

PEOPLE SOMETIMES CALL ME A HERO.  I DON'T LIKE IT BECAUSE PEOPLE
SHOULD NEVER THINK THAT YOU HAVE TO BE A VERY SPECIAL PERSON TO
HELP THOSE WHO NEED YOU.  I MYSELF, I'M A JUST A VERY COMMON
PERSON.  I SIMPLY HAD NO CHOICE.
I COULD FORESEE MANY, MANY SLEEPLESS NIGHTS AND A LIFE FILLED
WITH REGRET, IF I WOULD REFUSE TO HELP THE FRANKS.  AND THIS WAS
NOT THE KIND OF LIFE I WAS LOOKING FORWARD TO.

I COULD NOT SAVE ANNE'S LIFE.  HOWEVER, I DID SAVE HER DIARY AND
BY THAT I COULD HELP HER MOST IMPORTANT DREAM TO COME TRUE.  IN
HER FAMILY, SHE TELLS US THAT SHE WANTS TO LIVE ON AFTER HER
DEATH.  NOW, HER DIARY MAKES HER REALLY LIVING ON IN A MOST
POWERFUL WAY.  AND THAT HELPS ME IN THOSE MANY HOURS OF DEEP
GRIEF.

WHEN I FOUND IT, LYING ALL OVER THE FLOOR IN THE HIDING PLACE, I
DECIDED TO STOW IT AWAY IN ORDER TO GIVE IT BACK ANNE WHEN SHE
WOULD RETURN.  I WANTED TO SEE HER SMILE AND HEAR HER SAY, "OH
MIEP, MY DIARY."  BUT, AFTER A TERRIBLE TIME OF WAITING AND
HOPING, WORD CAME THAT ANNE HAD DIED.  AT THAT MOMENT I WENT TO
OTTO FRANK, ANNE'S FATHER, THE ONLY ONE OF THE FAMILY WHO HAD
SURVIVED, AND GAVE HIM ANNE'S DIARY.  

"THIS IS WHAT ANNE HAS LEFT," I SAID TO HIM.  "THESE ARE HER
WORDS."  CAN YOU SEE HOW THIS MAN LOOKED AT ME?  LOST HIS WIFE,
LOST HIS TWO CHILDREN; HE HAD THE DIARY OF ANNE.  IT WAS A VERY
MOVING MOMENT.

OTTO TOLD ME TO READ THE DIARY.  BUT IN THE BEGINNING I REFUSED
BECAUSE I WAS AFRAID THAT IT GIVE ME MORE PAIN.  BUT WHEN I
FINALLY STARTED TO READ IT, ALL MY DEAR FRIENDS CAME BACK TO
LIFE.  AGAIN, I HEARD THEIR VOICES, THEIR LAUGHS, THEIR
ARGUMENTS.  IT WAS REALLY WONDERFUL.  OF COURSE, I WEPT A LOT
WHILE READING, BUT IN FACT I FELT HAPPY.

ANNE AND ALL THE OTHER PEOPLE WERE WITH ME AGAIN.  "THANK YOU
ANNE," I SAID OFTEN TO MYSELF.  "YOU GAVE ME ONE OF THE FINEST
THINGS I EVER RECEIVED."

AS I TOLD YOU, I'M BORN AN AUSTRIAN GIRL.

FOR A LONG TIME, I WAS DEEPLY ASHAMED OF MY HOME COUNTRY.  MY
BIGGEST JOY WAS ON THE DAY THAT I BECAME A DUTCH CITIZEN.  THEN,
I FELT FREE TO HATE ALL GERMANS AND AUSTRIANS BECAUSE OF WHAT
THEY DID DO TO MY FRIENDS.  I COULD NOT SEE THAT THERE WAS
ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT.  HOWEVER, IT WAS WRONG.  AND AS YOU
WILL SEE, I LEARNED THAT THE HARD WAY.  

AFTER THE WAR THE BUSINESS OF OTTO FRANK, WHERE I WORKED IN THE
OFFICE, WAS STILL IN THE SAME BUILDING WHERE HE HAD BEEN IN
HIDING.  AFTER THE DIARY WAS PUBLISHED, PEOPLE STARTED TO VISIT
THE PLACE, ALSO GERMANS AND AUSTRIANS.  OTTO KNEW ABOUT MY BLIND
HATE TOWARDS THEM AND THEREFORE HE WOULD NEVER LET ME NEAR THEM. 
(LAUGHTER)

BUT ONE DAY, FATE CAUGHT ME.  WHEN I SUDDENLY FACED GERMANS, I
JUMPED AT THEM, CALLING THEM EVERYTHING I COULD THINK OF.  "YOU
ALWAYS SAY THAT YOU DID NOT KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO THE JEWS.  YOU
REALLY WANT ME TO BELIEVE THAT YOU WERE THAT STUPID?"  

THE VISITORS WERE CLEARLY AFRAID OF ME (LAUGHTER) AND BACKED OFF
TO THE WALL.  I SAW, I ALSO SAW THAT THE WIVES WERE TAKING
POSITION IN FRONT OF THEIR HUSBANDS, TRYING TO PROTECT THEM FROM
A VIOLENT OUTBURST.  (LAUGHTER)  

I REALLY HAD MY GO AT THEM.  IN A CERTAIN WAY I EVEN ENJOYED IT.
(LAUGHTER)

BUT THEN, I WAS TOLD THAT THESE GERMAN PEOPLE HAD BEEN MANY YEARS
IN CONCENTRATION CAMPS THEMSELF FOR OPPOSING HITLER.  CAN YOU
UNDERSTAND HOW I THEN FELT AND CAN YOU SEE ME STANDING THERE.  I
REALLY DID NOT KNOW WHERE TO LOOK, OR WHAT TO SAY, AND HOW TO
MAKE GOOD FOR IT.

AT THAT MOMENT, I STARTED TO UNDERSTAND THE WISDOM OF OTTO FRANK,
WHO ALWAYS SAID THAT WE SHOULD NEVER AND NEVER LUMP PEOPLE
TOGETHER.  "EVERY PERSON MAKES HIS OR HER OWN DECISION," OTTO
SAID.  "EVEN PARENTS AND THEIR CHILDREN DO NOT ACT AND THINK THE
SAME."  OTTO FELT VERY STRONGLY THAT WE SHOULD NOT MAKE THE SAME
MISTAKE MANY GERMANS ONCE MADE.

AS I EXPLAINED EARLIER, GERMAN CHILDREN WERE NEVER TOLD THAT
EVERYONE IS JUST A SINGLE PERSON.  AND SO, HITLER GOT THE HELP HE
NEEDED TO KILL SIX MILLION INNOCENT JEWS.

"LUMPING PEOPLE TOGETHER IS RACISM", OTTO SAID.  AND IT LED TO
THE HOLOCAUST AND STILL DESTROYS COUNTLESS LIVES TODAY.

IT HAS HAPPENED THAT PEOPLE WALK UP TO ME AND ASK ME WHAT I WOULD
ANSWER TO THOSE WHO DENY THAT THE HOLOCAUST EVEN TOOK PLACE.  MY
RESPONSE IS THAT ON AUGUST 4, 1944 AT 9 O'CLOCK IN THE MORNING I
DID MEET A HEALTHY AND STRONG 15-YEAR OLD GIRL, ANNE FRANK.

THE NEXT THING I SAW WAS HER NAME IN A GERMAN LIST OF PEOPLE ON A
CATTLE TRAIN TO AUSCHWITZ.  SO PLEASE, TELL ME WHERE ANNE FRANK
LIVES AT THIS MOMENT IF THE HOLOCAUST DID NOT TAKE PLACE, BECAUSE
ANNE FRANK WOULD STILL BE WITH US TODAY, 67 YEARS OLD ON JUNE 12
THIS YEAR.  LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, I THANK YOU WITH ALL MY HEART
FOR SPENDING YOUR TIME WITH ME.  

ONCE AGAIN, THANK YOU ALL.  IT WAS REALLY WONDERFUL.
(APPLAUSE)

VOICE OF ANNE FRANK (ACTRESS):
I DON'T BELIEVE THAT THE BIG MEN, THE POLITICIANS AND THE
CAPITALISTS ALONE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE WAR.  OH NO, THE LITTLE
MAN IS JUST AS GUILTY.