Anne Frank Remembered

Anne Frank Remembered

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Miep Gies tells of the years she and her husband helped hide the Franks from the Nazis and of the diary—Anne's legacy—that she gave to Otto Frank.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781606863886
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/28/2010
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 264
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Co-author Alison Leslie Gold has written several books about the Holocaust.  She has enjoyed seeing Anne Frank Remembered translated into 19 languages in addition to winning the Best of the Best Award from the American Library Association in 1994.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

In 1933, I Lived with my adoptive parents, the Nieuwenhuises, at Gaaspstraat 25, sharing a small, cozy attic room with my adoptive sister, Catherina. Our quarter was a quiet area of South Amsterdam known as the River Quarter because the streets were named after Dutch and other European rivers whose lower courses flowed through the Netherlands to the sea, like the Rhine, the Maas, the Jeker. In fact, the Amstel flowed practically into our own backyards.

This section had been built up during the 1920s and early '30s when large, progressive corporations had built great blocks of apartments for their members with the help of government loans. We were all quite proud of this forward-looking treatment of ordinary working people: comfortable housing, indoor plumbing, tree-filled gardens in the rear of each block. Other big blocks were built entirely by private firms.

Actually, our quarter wasn't altogether quiet. Almost always, lively children filled the air with shouts and laughter; if they weren't playing games, they were whistling upward to call their friends out to play. A friendship included a one-of-a-kind tune whistled loudly to call the friend and identify who was downstairs. Children were always in each other's company, charging off in little packs to the Amstelpark swimming pool, or perhaps speaking in singsong as they walked to and from school in bunches. Dutch children, like their parents, learned faithfulness in friendship very young, and would just as quickly turn implacable if any wrong was done to a friend.

Gaaspstraat was much like all the other streets, filled with a great five-story block of apartments. There were doorways up and down the streetleading to steep stairways. The buildings were constructed of dark brown brick with sloping orange roofs. There were windows both front and back, all wood-trimmed and painted white, each window with a different white lace curtain, and never without flowers or plants.

Our backyard was filled with elm trees. Across the way was a little grassy playground, and on the other side of the playground was a Roman Catholic church whose ringing bells punctuated the day and sent birds flying against the sky: sparrows; pigeons, which were kept on the roofs; gulls. Always gulls.

Our quarter was bordered on the east by the Amstel, with boats going back and forth, and on the north by the stately Zuideramstellaan Boulevard, where streetcar number 8 ran, and poplars grew on either side, in straight rows. Zuideramstellaan met Scheldestraat, one of the neighborhood shopping streets filled with shops, cafes, and open flower stalls with cans of bright, fresh flowers.

But Amsterdam was not my native city. I had been born in Vienna, Austria, in 1909. When I was five years old, the First World War began. We children had no way of knowing that the war had begun, except that one day we heard soldiers marching in the streets. I remember feeling great excitement, and I ran out alone to take a look. I was aware of uniforms, equipment, and many emotional displays between people. To get a better look, I ran between the marching men and horses. A man from the fire brigade grabbed me, hoisted me into his arms, and carried me home, as I craned my neck to see more.

In Vienna, there were old buildings, not in good condition, built around central courtyards and broken up into many apartments filled with working people. We lived in one of these dark apartments. The man from the fire brigade returned me to my anxious mother and left. My mother told me gravely, "There are soldiers in the streets. It's not safe. Don't go out there."

I didn't understand, but I did as I was told. Everyone was acting so strangely. As I was so young, I remember very little about those days, except that two uncles who lived with us had to go to war, and much was made of this.

Both uncles returned safely, and by that time one had married. Neither one came back to live with us, so by the time the war ended I lived with just Mother, Father, and Grandmother.

I was not the strongest child, and because of the serious food shortages during the war, I had become undernourished and sick. I was a small child to begin with, and seemed to be wasting away, rather than growing normally. My legs were sticks dominated by bony kneecaps. My teeth were soft. When I was ten years old, my parents had another child; another daughter. Now there was even less food for us all. My condition was worsening, and my parents were told that something had to be done or I would die.

Because of a program that had been set up by foreign working people for hungry Austrian children, a plan was devised that might rescue me from my fate. I was to be sent with other Austrian workers' children to the faraway country called the Netherlands to be fed and revitalized.

It was winter -- always bitter in Vienna -- December of 1920, and I was bundled up in whatever my parents could find and taken to the cavernous Vienna railway station. There we waited long, tiring hours, during which we were joined by many other sickly children. Doctors looked me over, probing and examining my thin, weak body. Although I was eleven, I looked much younger. My long, fine dark blond hair was held back with a large piece of cotton cloth tied into a big puffed bow. A card was hung around my neck. On it was printed a strange name, the name of people I had never met.

The train was filled with many children like me, all with cards around their necks. Suddenly, the faces of my parents were no longer in sight anywhere and the train had begun to move. All the children were scared and apprehensive about what was to become of us. Some were crying. Most of us had never even been outside our streets, certainly never outside Vienna. I felt too weak to observe much, but found the chugging motion of the train made me sleepy. I slept and woke. The trip went on and on and on.

It was pitch-black, the middle of the night, when the train stopped and we were shaken awake and led off the train. The sign beside the still-steaming train said Leiden.

Speaking to us in a totally foreign language, people took us into a large, high-ceilinged room and sat us on hard-backed wooden chairs. All the children were in long rows, side by side. My feet didn't reach the floor. I felt very, very sleepy.

Opposite the exhausted, sick children crowded a group of adults. Suddenly, these adults came at us in a swarm and began to fumble with our cards, reading off the names. We were helpless to resist the looming forms and fumbling hands.

A man, not very big but very strong-looking, read my tag. "Ja," he said firmly, and took my hand in his, helping me down from the chair. He led me away. I was not afraid and went with him willingly.

We walked through a town, past buildings that had very different shapes from those of Viennese buildings I had seen. The moon was shining down, creamy, luminous. It was clear weather. The shining moonlight made it possible to see. I was intently looking for where we were going.

I saw that we were walking away from the town. There were no more houses; there were trees. The man had begun to whistle. I became angry. He must be a farmer, I thought. He must be whistling for his dog to come. I was desperately frightened of big dogs. My heart sank.

However, we kept on walking and no dog came, and suddenly more houses appeared. We came to a door. It opened and we went upstairs. A woman with an angular face and soft eyes stood there. I looked into the house, past a stairway landing, and saw heads of many children staring down at me. The woman took me by the hand into another room and gave me a glass of frothy milk. Then she guided me up the stairs.

All the children were gone. The woman took me into a small room. It contained two beds. In one bed was a gift my age. The woman took off all my layers of clothes, removed the bow from my hair, and put me between the covers in the center of the other bed. Warmth enfolded me. My eyelids dropped shut. Immediately, I was asleep.

I will never forget that journey.

The next morning the same woman came to the room, dressed me in clean clothes, and took me downstairs. There at the big table sat the strong man, the girl my age from the bedroom, and four boys of all different ages; all the faces that had stared at me the night before now looked curiously at me from around the table. I understood nothing of what they said and they understood nothing of what I said, until the oldest boy, who was studying to be a teacher, began to use the bits of German he had learned in school to translate simple things for me. He became my interpreter.

Despite the language problem, all the children were kind to me. Kindness, in my depleted condition, was very important to me. It was medicine as much as the bread, the marmalade, the good Dutch milk and butter and cheese, the toasty temperature of the warm rooms. And, ahhh, the little chocolate flakes known as "hailstones" and other chocolate bits called "little mice" they taught me to put on thickly buttered bread -- treats I'd never imagined before.

After several weeks, some of my strength began to return. All the children were in school, including the eldest, my interpreter. Everyone believed that the quickest way for a child to learn the Dutch language was to go to a Dutch school. So the man took me again by the hand to the local school and had a long talk with the school's director. The director said, "Have her come to our school."

In Vienna, I had been in the Fifth Class, but here in Leiden I was put back into the Third Class. When the director brought me into the strange class, explaining in Dutch to the children who I was, they all wanted to help me; so many hands reached out to guide me that I didn't know which one to grab first. The children all adopted me. There is a children's story in which a little child in a wooden cradle is washed away by a flood and is floating on the raging waters, in danger of sinking, when a cat leaps onto the cradle and jumps from side to side of it, keeping the cradle afloat until it touches solid ground again and the child is safe. I was the child, and all these Dutch people in my life were the cats.

By the end of January, I could understand and speak a few words of Dutch.

By spring I was the best in the class.

My Stay in Holland was to have been for three months, but I was still weak by that time and the doctors extended it another three months, and then another. Quickly, this family began to absorb me. They started to consider me one of them. The boys would say, "We have two sisters."

The man I was beginning to think of as my adoptive father was a supervisor of workers in a coal company in Leiden. Despite five children of his own, this man and his wife, although not well off by any means, took the attitude that where seven could eat, so could eight, and so they slowly revitalized their little hungry child from Vienna. At first, they called me by my proper name, Hemline, but as the ice between us melted, they found the name too formal and began calling me by an affectionate Dutch nickname, Miep.

I took to Dutch life quite naturally. Gezellig, or coziness, is the Dutch theme. I learned to ride a bicycle, to butter my bread sandwiches on two sides. I was taught a love of classical music by these people, and that it was my duty to be politically aware and read the newspaper each evening, later discussing what I'd read.

I failed miserably in one area of Dutch life. When the winter became cold enough for the water of the canals to freeze, the Nieuwenhuises bundled me up with the other children and took us to the frozen canal. It was a festive atmosphere: stalls selling hot chocolate and hot anise milk; whole families skating together, one behind the next, their arms hooked to a long pole to swing themselves around; the horizon always fiat and luminous, the winter sun reddish.

They strapped a pair of wooden skates with curling blades to my shoes with leather thongs, and pushed me out onto the frozen surface. Seeing my panic, they pushed a wooden chair out onto the ice and instructed me to push the chair ahead of me. My misery must have shown, because shortly I was helped to the side of the canal. Frozen and miserable, I fought to untie the knotted, wet thongs without my gloves. The knots wouldn't budge as my fingers grew more and more frozen. My rage and misery mounted, and I vowed to myself never again to go anywhere near the ice. I've kept that vow.

When I was thirteen, the whole family moved to South Amsterdam, to the quarter where all the streets are named for rivers. Even though this quarter was at the very edge of the City of Amsterdam and bordered on the Amstel River, with green pastureland and black-and-white cows grazing, we were living in the city. I loved city life. I particularly delighted in Amsterdam's electric streetcars and canals and bridges and sluices, birds, cats, speeding bicycles, bright flower stalls and herring stands, antiquities, gabled canal houses, concert halls, movie theaters, and political clubs.

In 1925, when I was sixteen, the Nieuwenhuises took me back to Vienna to see my blood relatives. I was surprised at the beauty of Vienna, and felt strange with these now-unfamiliar people. As the visit drew to a close, my anxiety mounted about my departure. But my natural mother spoke frankly to my adoptive parents. "It's better if Hermine goes back to Amsterdam with you. She has become Dutch. I think that she would not be happy if she stayed now in Vienna." My knots untied and I felt great relief.

I did not want to hurt my natural family's feelings, and I was still young and needed their consent. But I wanted desperately to return to the Netherlands. My sensibilities were Dutch, the quality of my feelings also Dutch.

During my late teens, some of my heartiness turned inward. I became staunchly independent and began to read and think about philosophy. I read Spinoza and Henri Bergson. I began to fill notebooks with my most private thoughts, jotting endlessly. I did all this in secret, for myself only, not for discussion. I had a deep longing for an understanding of life.

Then, as forcefully as it had assaulted me, the passion for notebook-keeping lifted. I felt suddenly embarrassed, self-conscious, fearful that someone would chance upon these very private thoughts. In one purge I tore all my writings in two and threw them away, never again to write in this way. At eighteen, I left school and went to work in an office. Although I continued to be a staunchly private and independent woman, my zest for life turned outward again.

In 1931, at twenty-two, I returned again to Vienna to see my parents. This time I was a grown woman and traveled alone. Having been employed for some time, I had corresponded regularly with them and had sent money whenever I could. It was a good visit, but this time no mention was made of the possibility of my returning to Austria. I was now Dutch through and through. The hungry little eleven-year-old Viennese girl with the tag tied around her neck and a bow in her hair had faded away entirely. I was now a robust young Dutch woman.

Because during my visits to Vienna none of us had thought to have any change made in my passport, on paper I was still an Austrian citizen. But when I bade farewell to my mother, father, and sister in Austria, I did so with a clarity about my identity. I knew I would continue to write and send money regularly, that I would periodically visit them and bring my children to see them when that time came, but that Holland would be my home forever.

Copyright © 1987 by Miep Gies and Alison Leslie Gold

Table of Contents

Part 1Refugees13
Part 2In Hiding99
Part 3The Darkest Days191
Map of the Netherlands54
Map of Amsterdam14
Floor Plan of the Annex92

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Anne Frank Remembered 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading this book therefore my reasoning on the way I rated the book. Hundreds and Thousands of families were being hunted down. This could make you feel a number of different emotions;helpless, scared, sad, frustrated, angry, or all of the above. Imagine yourself sitting at home and hearing the ring of a telaphone. Rushing excitedly to pick it smiling from ear to ear because you've been having a great day. Coming to find out that someone being the Nazis are hunting down your family. Pretty depressing! Listening to the news makes you want to go looking for your family to be sure they are safe for now. Looking turns into searching. Searching turns into wondering. Wondering will make you just that much more nervous. Especially coming to find that at the place where they would be sent to will make you work, and work, and work. With a saying that "Work will set you free." Want to know more? Read this book; Anne Frank remembered.....
Guest More than 1 year ago
This Book was Great! It made me relize how lucky I am to live in a world that we don't have to worry about our religion or race.When Anne Frank was growing up her family had to worry about being Captured by the Nazis, because they were German, they did not get treated fairly. Anne Frank was a courages young girl!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If i could have met mrs. Gies before she died, i would have hugged and told her thank you for saving anne's memories. Reading this book has made me relize that she and everyone else involved with hiding the franks were in consant danger from being discovered by the nazi in the situation. If we learned anything about ww2, from annes story of survival and mieps bravery to make sure that it would never happened again.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Much is said and rightfully so about the atrocities of WWII, but often we forget those who risked much in an effort to help. This book spoke to that effort in a simple, but yet compasionate way.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Not only for being brave enough to help the Franks, but preserving Anne's words so she could 'be a famous writer.' Miep Gies probably never wanted to be a famous writer like her young friend, but her words eloquently describe the 'other side' of Anne's story. She helps us understand this time in history and the heartbreak, yet in a readable way. I highly, highly recommend this book...even if you have never read Anne's diary.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i read this book for a term paper that i had to write in history. it was a great book for me to read because it helped me to relize how good of a life i have compared to some people. whenever my life seems to go down hill i just think 'it could be worse' then i think of what anne frank went through and i just say to myself ' i got it easy'
Guest More than 1 year ago
Absolutely the best! This is the book to read if anyone wants to know Anne Frank (besides reading her actual diary). It is so brave and courageous of Miep Gies to help the 8 people in hiding. She put so much of herself at risk, buying food, seeing to their needs. This book is a must read!
Dominique_nikki on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I just know Anne Frank by her name but because of this book, I did not only know her by name but also her experiences. Miep really did a great job helping the Frank family and because of that she's been blessed. This book is a must-read because the story comes straight from the Frank family's friend Miep. It is more credible than of other's works. Read it and you'll surely love it.
marieburton2004 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I can't think of anyone who has not heard of Anne Frank or her diary that depicts the tragic story of the little girl who did not survive the holocaust. This is not another Anne Frank's Diary story, this is a memoir of a woman who met Anne Frank and her family during the horrors of Hitler's reign in Germany. This is the same woman who actually rescued the pages of the diary before it was trampled by the Germans when they were taken from their hiding place.The woman who is nicknamed Miep briefly touches on her childhood of being adopted by a Dutch family out of her Austrian home due to malnourishment, though not a direct fault of her biological family. Miep writes of her growing up in the Dutch school and then when she later works in an office for Otto Frank. Otto Frank is the father of Margot and Anne Frank, and in 1940 the girls were 14 and 10 years old when Miep had already socialized with them for a few years. At this point, Hitler was Fuhrer of Germany for 6 years and his Nazi ways were beginning to strike more serious fears with onlookers. Miep mentions when England and France had declared war on Germany; while not deeply affected politically yet by these events, Miep explains how she had not hated another person as much as she had begun to hate Hitler then.Miep details her personal life in this memoir, from her social life to advancing career in the growing office under Otto Frank and she writes in a casual tone of how she had reacted to the things going on around her. She realizes that the trouble in Germany has hit closer to home when her Austrian passport gets changed to a German passport complete with a Swastika stamp. Suddenly events turn for the worse and the raids on the Jewish people who had once found solace in the Netherlands were being pulled out of their homes and the streets, and taken to Hitler's camps. For years the war raged on, with the Jewish sympathisers being persecuted and tortured for information on the resistance. I was astonished and horrified as the story went on as to the treatment of all of the Dutch civilians.For several years Miep helped to hide the Frank family in the upper floors of the office building of the company that Miep had worked at for Otto Frank. She then became a source of food, friendship, news and entertainment as two families and an eighth man were hidden in the cramped quarters. The scrounging for food became a daily struggle for Miep to procure for herself and those she helped to hide, but she did it without complaining. The details of the war via the information waves were slow to come and sometimes inaccurate but still there was little hope. Finally they hear of the Allies, that the British were coming, that America had joined the war and there was at last a glimmer of hope that perhaps Hitler would be stopped. But it did not impact the horrific way of living that the people had to survive, and my heart broke for them as Miep details simply the hardships she and her friends endured.Otto Frank seems like a father figure to Miep and her husband, who was very calm, patient and exact with all things that occurred around him. I could feel the admiration Miep held for Otto. But Anne, how she affected Miep with her big saucer like round eyes, and how she probably haunted Miep ever time she closed her own eyes. The bond the two had shared was palpable and heartbreaking; despite the age differences, Anne and Miep were close and had respect for each other, their choices of friends were limited due to their situation. Miep speaks of the little characteristics of Anne that continue to make her a real person to us today, and modestly yet powerfully she tells this story of how Miep survived the war, but others did not.I learned about the ordeals the Dutch endured during the German Occupation, and I enjoyed looking at the pictures that were included of Miep, her friends and family, and Anne and the Frank family. I devoured this book even when my heart was breaking for Anne's family and y
jnoel12 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I liked this book. At first, when my mom bought it for me, I was like, "I already read about Anne Frank. Everyone knows Anne Frank." But when I started reading, I learned things about Anne that I never knew about. Usually, the Anne Frank I read about is in her perspective, but this time it is in a friend's perspective, Miep Gies. This story was not only about Anne Frank's legacy, but the woman who made it live on, Miep. This book is recommended to people who think they know the full story.
cattriona on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Wow. I just finished reading this title and was very moved. Like most of us, I read Anne Frank's diary in school while growing up, but reading the tale of the people who helped hide her, the risks they took became much more clear. Not only the Jewish group in the attic, but the Christians who secretly aided them, suffered great hardship and constant fear. It was Miep Gies who saved Anne's diary and other papers "until Anne returns". Anne's father, Otto Frank, eventually returned to them at the end of the war and received Anne's papers with some closure. Highly Recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love Anne Frank because she is soooooooo cute and is a journalist. I also like her because she is soooo inspiring to me.That is just my opinion! What about you?
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katt9 More than 1 year ago
If you are a history buff or not this was the most intriguing and captive book I have read in a long time. I re-read Anne Frank and then Margot and then this one. There is also out there abook about James the boy who loved Anne Frank..
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Guest More than 1 year ago
To this day I'm learning about the Holocaust and it is very sad to see all those people that died.I'm glad that some of my friends that are Jewish weren't born back then!I really like learning about the Holocaust.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Never have I ever read a more couragous story in my life yet I was filled with a deep despair afterwards. The courage of the hidden Jews and their protectors is unique and amazing but the brutalities that ocurred can never be forgotten.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read the book as part as a research project. It is a wonderful book about life during the holocaust, and I encourage everyone to read it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago