Miep Gies: A Frank Family Friend

Miep Gies: A Frank Family Friend
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.48

     challenging words:    helping, ration, occasionally, entire, imagine, survivor, soul, secret, thoughts, supplies, living, public, lone, however, order, transform
     content words:    Anne Frank, Miep Gies, Otto Frank, Fritz Pfeffer, Sometimes Miep, When Otto Frank, Anne Frank Remembered

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Miep Gies: A Frank Family Friend
By Erin Horner

1     Can you imagine living in a secret place? Every day you must be absolutely still. You can only speak in hushed tones during the day. You can peek, but just barely, through the curtains to catch a glimpse of the outside world. This is how Anne Frank and her family lived for more than two years. The Frank family was Jewish. They were forced into hiding in 1942 to try to avoid the Nazis and Adolf Hitler's terrible new rules for Jewish people. Once the Franks slipped into their secret annex they had to pretend as though they had simply disappeared. They could not go to the store. They could not visit the library. They could not be seen in public - ever! Thankfully, the Franks had some very brave friends who helped them during this difficult time.
2     Miep Gies was one of those friends. She worked for Otto Frank. She felt bad for his family. She wanted to help them. Miep, along with some of Mr. Frank's other employees, helped to transform the annex into an apartment where the Franks, the van Pelses, and Dr. Fritz Pfeffer could live. Miep also helped by bringing food for the Franks and the four other people who were living with them in the annex. This was a very hard job! Food was scarce during this time. People were issued ration coupons. Each coupon allowed a customer to buy only a small amount of food. Miep had to visit several grocers each day in order to obtain enough food for her own family and for her friends in hiding. Some grocery workers suspected that Miep was helping hidden Jews. They sympathized with her. The local butcher, for example, used to add extra meat to her order. Other grocers put extra produce aside for her or allowed her to buy food on credit. Sometimes Miep had to buy food on the black market. She didn't like to buy food illegally but occasionally had no other choice.
3     In addition to food, Miep brought other supplies to the annex as well. She brought books from the library, newspapers, and magazines. Miep snuck in clothing and school supplies too. Miep also helped the Frank family celebrate birthdays and holidays. She would bring small treats, like a cake, or simple gifts. Luxuries like these helped those in hiding feel more normal. Miep helped the Frank family during their entire stay in the annex. She was working in the office below the secret hideaway the morning that the police came to find the Franks. After helping to protect them for years, Miep Gies had to watch in horror as her friends were arrested and led away.

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