Anne Frank Remembered: Review Essay
Anne Frank Remembered: ReviewAnne Frank Remembered is the autobiography of Miep Gies, the woman whohelped the Frank family survive during their two years in hiding. Her book is aprimary source or first hand account of the persecution of Jewish people in Nazioccupied Holland during the second world war. It is also the first hand accountof the hiding of Jews such as the Frank family, the Van Daan family, and Dr.
Albert Dussel during this time.
In regard to the book’s autobiographical format, the author, Miep Gies,does not present the reader with a clear thesis statement.
Instead, throughoutthe book the author discusses her main views toward the actions of the Nazis andtheir oppression of the Jewish people. Her disapproval of German Nazi actionsis evident in the following quotation, when she was asked to join the NaziGirls’ Club:” ‘How can I join such a club?’ I icily asked. ‘Look at what theGermans are doing to the Jews in Germany.’ …Let her take a goodlook at me and see with her own eyes that some ‘Aryan’ woman wasnot to be swept in by the Nazis.
” (Gies, p. 41, 1987).
The main source of background to the author’s viewpoint is her own story.
In order to further discuss her main points and views, a summary of her storymust be given.
The book began with a brief history of the childhood of Miep Gies. Shewas born in Vienna, Austria in 1909, where she lived with her parents until theage eleven year. She was then sent to Amsterdam by a program in the aid ofundernourished and sick children and was to be adopted by a Dutch family. Shebecame used to the Dutch way of life as she grew older and soon she began toconsider herself Dutch, not Viennese.
Her association with the Frank family began when she was given a jobwith the Pectacon Company, owned and operated by Mr. Otto Frank. His companymade and sold pectin, which was used for making jam. Miep’s first part of thejob was to make jam with different formulas of pectin. After becoming an expertjam maker, she was placed at a desk in the office to do office work. She becamevery close to the Frank family and was invited to their home regularly for meals.
She also began a relationship with a man named Jan, whom she later married.
Throughout her book, Miep incorporated much information on Hitler’s Nazimovement in both the Netherlands and the rest of Europe. She described the slowpersecution of the Jews and the various restrictions placed upon them. In Julyof 1942, Miep and her husband helped the Frank family move into a hiding placenamed ‘the secret annex’, located in secret rooms of the Pectacon companybuilding. It had become too dangerous for the Frank family to live as Jews inAmsterdam. An order came for the Pectacon company to be liquidated as a Jewishbusiness, so Mr. Frank turned it over in the names of his trusted, Christianbusiness associates: Mr. Kraler and Mr. Koophuis. Although legally Mr. Frankhad no ties with the business, it was still secretly directed by him with themeans of clandestine meetings between the three men.
Miep described her responsibilities in shopping for the family andproviding them with the necessities of life. She and her husband came up withplans to get extra ration cards in order to feed the Franks’, the Van Daans’, Dr.
Dussel, and themselves. All of the things she did for the families put a riskon her own life; even providing them with her companionship was illegal.
However, Miep and her husband became one of the only links the families inhiding had to the outside world.
On the morning of August 4, 1944, the efforts of Miep and the familiesfailed when their hiding place was raided by Nazi officials. The families werearrested and sent to prison camps. The only thing left for Miep to do wasretrieve some of their belongings. During her quick surveyance of the scene ofthe raid, she found the diary of Mr. Frank’s youngest daughter, Anne. She tookit back to her desk and saved it until the war was over.
In early 1945, the war ended and the remaining Jewish prisoners werereleased. The only survivor of the families Miep had helped to hide was OttoFrank. She had kept his business running and he returned to live with her andher husband. After receiving a letter confirming the death of Anne and hersister Margot, Miep gave Anne’s diary to Mr. Frank. The diary was publishedand became popular all over the world. It was Anne’s legacy to everyone who hadsuffered under Nazi rule.
This story is the author’s main evidence in her argument that under Nazirule, “a slow strangulation was taking place, we began to realize: firstisolation, and now impoverization” (Gies, p. 71, 1987) of the Jewish race.
Her argument is very convincing to the reader because her evidence is a firsthand account of what actually happened. She was an eye witness to what happenedto honest Jewish families such as the Frank family and the Van Daan family.
The author’s use of language and her descriptions of events illustratethat she strongly was against what the Nazis were doing to people. It indicatesan intended audience of most likely those who have already read The Diary ofAnne Frank and are looking for further investigation on the topic. However, itis not required that the reader has read The Diary of Anne Frank before readingthis book. Miep Gies starts from the very beginning of her association with theFrank family and completes the story of their life. Although this book isrecommended to anyone who is interested in this topic, the book may also bedirected towards those of Jewish decent who experienced similar instances andwant to find out what happened to others.
In final evaluation, I have found this book to be very convincing, as itis a true story. The reader is left at the end of the book to draw their ownopinions on the topic and the author’s account of the story. I found that theauthor’s use of evidence in her book was very good because her main source washer own story as an eye witness, with pictures and copies of documents to provethat the information is true. The book is very useful in understanding theissue of the persecution of Jews during the Holocaust in the second world war.