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Anne Frank's helper reaches 100

ANNE Frank called them the Helpers. They provided food, books and good cheer while she and her family hid for two years from the Nazis in a tiny attic apartment.

On Sunday the last surviving helper, Miep Gies, celebrates her 100th birthday, saying she has won more accolades for helping the Frank family than she deserved.

"This is very unfair. So many others have done the same or even far more dangerous work," she wrote in an e-mail this week.

It was Gies who gathered up Anne's scattered papers and notebooks after the hiding place was raided in 1944. She locked them ?? unread ?? in a desk drawer to await the teenager's return.

Anne died of typhus in the German concentration camp of Bergen-Belsen seven months after her arrest. The camp was liberated two weeks later.

Gies gave the collection to Anne's father, Otto ?? the only survivor among the eight people who hid in the concealed attic of the canal-side warehouse. He published it in 1947 and "The Diary of Anne Frank" became the first book about the Holocaust to win popular appeal and has sold tens of millions of copies in dozens of languages.

Gies paid tribute to the "unnamed heroes" who helped Dutch Jews escape during the five years of Nazi occupation.

Of the prewar Jewish population of 140,000, about 107,000 were arrested and deported. Only 5,200 of them survived the war. About 24,000 Dutch Jews went into hiding, of which 8,000 were hunted down or betrayed for a bounty.


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