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– Epilogue –

A fter Anne Frank Remembered was finally com- pleted and published in English, it passed into more than twenty other languages. Dutch was one of these, and at an international press launch for the book in Amsterdam a sour Dutch journalist stood up and challenged Miep, saying the following: ‘Not to be disrespectful, Mrs. Gies, but why would you and your husband allow an American writer to take our very own story away from us?’

Miep locked eyes with the journalist and replied: ‘For the past forty years you and every other journalist who has interviewed us has asked us the same five questions. When Alison came to us she was the first who ever asked us a sixth question, then a seventh, and more. That is why.’

I had often wondered the same thing. I’d also wondered how I was able to find words to convince iron-willed Miep and Jan to allow me to write more than an article about their wartime deeds, culminating in two close years in their living room working together on our book, on preserving their memories. They had, ­after our initial, cordial interview, dug in their heels and adamantly resisted the idea of a book.


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