The "Righteous Gentile"
After the apartment was raided by the German police, Gies gathered up Anne's scattered notebooks and papers and locked them in a drawer for her return after the war. The diary, which Anne Frank was given on her 13th birthday, chronicles her life in hiding from June 12, 1942 until August 1, 1944. Gies refused to read the papers, saying even a teenager's privacy was sacred. Later, she said if she had read them she would have had to burn them because they incriminated the "helpers."
Gies brushed aside the accolades for helping hide the Frank family as more than she deserved. "This is very unfair. So many others have done the same or even far more dangerous work," she wrote last February. For her courage, Gies was bestowed with the "Righteous Gentile" title by the Israeli Holocaust museum.
"I don't want to be considered a hero," she said. "Imagine young people would grow up with the feeling that you have to be a hero to do your human duty. I am afraid nobody would ever help other people, because who is a hero? I was not. I was just an ordinary housewife and secretary." (Associated Press)