Miep Gies (b. c. 1908), Dutch former secretary; born in Austria. As quoted in the New York Times, p. 27 (March 11, 1995).
At the beginning of World War II, Gies, a Christian, was a secretary in the food chemicals business of Otto Frank, a Jew. To escape the Nazis, Frank, his family, and four other Jews moved into a secret apartment above the business. Gies was one of five people aware of their hideout and took food to them daily; after the Jews were discovered and taken away on August 4, 1944, for delivery to concentration camps, Gies defied Nazi orders to stay out of the no-longer-secret apartment. There she found strewn across the floor the handwritten diary pages of Frank's younger daughter, Anne (1929-1945); at great personal risk, she retrieved and kept them. Here she was explaining why she waited until she was certain that Anne was dead before she gave the diary to Otto Frank, the only member of the family who survived the camps. He arranged for its publication in 1947, and it became an extraordinarily poignant and important document of Nazi oppression.