|"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
|"The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
Miep Gies, the last surviving member of the group who helped protect Anne Frank and her family from the Nazis, has died in the Netherlands aged 100.
She and other employees of Anne Frank's father Otto supplied food to the family as they hid in a secret annex above the business premises in Amsterdam.
Anne's diary of their life in hiding, which ended in betrayal, is one of the most famous records of the Holocaust.
It was rescued by Mrs Gies, who kept it safe until after the war.
Miep Gies died in a nursing home after suffering a fall just before Christmas.
Speaking last year as she celebrated her 100th birthday, Mrs Gies played down her role, saying others had done far more to protect Jews in the Netherlands.
She and her fellow employees kept Anne and the seven others supplied for two years, from 1942 to 1944.
Anne Frank died in a Nazi concentration camp in 1945
When the family were found by the authorities, they were deported, and Anne died of typhus in the German concentration camp of Bergen-Belsen.
It was Mrs Gies who collected up Anne's papers and locked them away, hoping that one day she would be able to give them back to the girl.
In the event, she returned them to Otto Frank, who survived the war, and helped him compile them into a diary that was published in 1947.
Of course, initially life is more comfortable if you stay out. You might silence your concern about injustice or cruel things happening to other people by telling yourself that those people should solve their problems themselves. It is a very selfish attitude, but, as I said, safe in the beginning. But, I could foresee that there would come a day that my conscience would start to bother me. This would be a kind of burden. Just like many people, all over the world, are unhappy and restless today because they did not help the Jews during the Holocaust. Think for instance of the ships with Jews that tried to enter the U.S. and were sent back! So, my conclusion is that really thinking of yourself is often better served by making some sacrifices today than having a miserable life later, feeling remorse about the help you failed to give to those who needed you....Yes, I would help again. Although, some people (rightfully) state that I could have not saved Anne's life, I still helped her to live another two years. During these years she wrote her wonderful diary, touching the heart of millions of people and inspiring them. Because I could rescue this diary, it was not a lost effort. From this we learn that it is always better to try. Sure failure results from not trying. My decision to help Otto was because I saw no alternative. I could foresee many sleepless nights and an unhappy life if I would refuse. And that was not the kind of future I wanted to for myself. Permanent remorse about failing to do your human duty, in my opinion, can be worse than losing your life.