Tolerance for Kids

Holocaust Survivors

My Special Friends:

On this page, you will meet people who lived through the unimaginable horrors of the Holocaust, and yet survived to tell their stories.

You will meet Miep Gies, the woman who risked her life to hide Anne Frank and her family from the Nazis.  You will also meet Nesse Godin, a woman who survived the Nazi concentration camps as a child and now shares her experiences with children.

Miep Gies:

In 1994, at the University of Michigan, I met the woman who hid Anne Frank’s family.  Her name was Miep Gies.  She received the Raoul Wallenberg Award for Bravery because she saved Anne’s diary and gave it to Anne’s father after the war ended.  Anne’s diary was published in 1948, and has become the most popular book in the world, second only to the Bible.

These are my favorite pictures of Miep.  In these photos, you can see Miep receiving her award.  She lived most of her life in Amsterdam, very close to the Secret Annex where Anne’s family hid from the Nazis for two years.  She just recently passed away, in January of 2010.  She was 100 years old.

Miep Gies, 1945. Photo Source: AP Photo / Anne Frank House, File.

When the Franks were discovered by the Nazis and sent to camps, Miep held the diary in hopes that she would return it to Anne.  But when she learned that Anne died in the camp, she gave the diary to Mr. Frank as a legacy.

I wrote an article about Miep’s life in the January 1999 issue of World War II magazine.  She is my inspiration for creating this web site, and I love her very much.  We used to write letters to each other, and I feel very lucky to have known her, because without Miep, the world would never have known Anne, or her diary, which would have been a great loss to us all.

Miep helped Jews to hide when nobody else would.  She risked her own life to help her friends, which is why she received the award for bravery.

When you remember Anne Frank, remember Miep Gies, too.  I dedicate this web site to her, and to all the children who died during the Holocaust.

Nesse Godin:

Nesse Godin is my favorite Holocaust survivor.  Nesse is a survivor of a ghetto, four labor camps, one concentration camp and a death march.  This is a photo of Nesse and me together in 1998.

Nesse was only 16 when she was separated from her family and forced to work.  Among her many jobs, she sorted the shoes of dead camp prisoners.  Despite starvation and disease, Nesse survived the Holocaust.  She was later reunited with her mother, and two brothers.  Her father was killed by the Nazis just because he was Jewish.

Nesse volunteers at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC to tell children and visitors about her life, and why she feels the Museum is so important to the world.  I think of Nesse as my special friend, and she always gives me hugs when I see her!

What would YOU like to ask Nesse?  Send me an email if you have a question for Nesse, or about the Holocaust.  The answers will be included here.