Sparking the Change: Miep Gies Essay

One small act in this world, whether it is significant or not, can change the life of someone forever. Miep Gies, a woman who once went unknown to the world, once said, “But even an ordinary secretary or a housewife or a teenager can, within their own small ways, turn on a small light in a dark room.” (Goodreads 1). The woman who went unheard of by the world around her, turned on this light during the dark experiences of World War II. From being a small business secretary to saving the lives of people around her, Miep Gies made a name for herself, and that name is now well known by many. All it took was one simple action of kindness for the world to remember her name, and now we celebrate the actions Miep made and the lives she changed. Even though Miep Gies only helped minorly during World War II, she is still seen as a truly significant figure across the globe to date.

Miep Gies, a significant figure in history, lived through quite a journey, and her background story is definitely one for the books. Gies, who was originally Hermine Santruschitz, was born in Vienna on February 15, 1909 but became ill at a young age and was forced leave her Austrian parents to travel to the Netherlands to live with her new foster family (5). This move was caused by World War I and the food shortages that had struck in several countries (5). In the 1920’s, Miep was placed with a family in Leiden, where she received the nickname Miep Gies, and later moved with her newly founded family to Amsterdam, where her story begins (5). Miep graduated at 18, and worked till 24 at textile company, until she was laid off because of the depression. After being unemployed for a period of time, Gies received news of a secretary position at Nederlandsche Ope…

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“Miep Gies”. Biography. A&E Television Networks, LLC. 2013. Web. 24 March 2014.

“Miep Gies”. Scholastic. Scholastic Inc. 2014. Web. 24 March 2014.

“Miep Gies” Anne Frank. Anne Frank Stichting. Web. 24 March 2014.

“Miep Gies, Anne Frank protector, dies at 100.” CNN World. Cable News Network. 2014. Web. 24 March 2014.

“Our Helpers” in the Secret Annex”. The Righteous Among the Nations. Yad Vashem The Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority. 2014. Web. 24 March 2014.

“Who Was Miep Gies?” Jerusalem Prayer Team. Jerusalem Prayer Team. 2014. Web. 24 March 2014.

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