For more than two years, Gies, along with her husband and three others, risked their lives to shelter the Franks and others until their betrayal to the Nazis, by a person still unknown.
Even after the arrest of the occupants of the Achterhuis, she attempted to bribe the Nazis in an attempt to obtain their release.
After the arrests, the 'secret annex' was sealed by the Gestapo, but disobeying orders of the Dutch police, Gies returned and retrieved several personal items, including Anne's diary.
She didn't read it at the time, and later said, that if she had, she would have burned it, as it would have disclosed the names of the people helping hiding the families, as well as black-market operators. She only read it at the behest of Otto Frank, Anne's father, when the book was in its second printing.
Modestly, she said,
“I stand at the end of the long, long line of good Dutch people who did what I did or more – much more - during those dark and terrible times years ago but always like yesterday in the hearts of those of us who bear witness.”
She really was everything you'd hope a human being would be. That your kids grow up to be, that we'd all grow up to be. Pope Pius XII better hope that he's not sitting in the waiting room at the pearly gates next to her.
“Shall I tell you what I find beautiful about you? You are at your very best when things are worst.”