Miep Gies died yesterday at the age of 100. I was listening to a radio news program today, and she was quoted as saying:
How does it feel to be a hero?
I don't want to be considered a hero. 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.
I hope the occasion never arises, but if it does, I hope I can be "ordinary" like Miep Gies. She is an example "doing what is right, not what is easy."
Why did you take on the responsibility of hiding the Franks?
My decision to help Otto was because I saw no alternative. I could foresee many sleepless nights and an unhappy life if I refused. And that was not the kind of failure I wanted for myself. Permanent remorse about failing to do your human duty, in my opinion, can be worse than losing your life.
Rest in peace, Miep. Job well done.