Israel in the News Jun/Jul 1993

The Man Who Hid Anne Frank Is Dead at 87

from The Jewish Exponent

Jan Gies, the man who helped hide Anne Frank and her family from the Nazis in a secret annex in Amsterdam, died Jan. 26 at the age of 87.

Gies and his wife, Miep, helped hide the Frank family and five other Jews in a loft above Otto Frank’s own business from July 1942 until August 1944, when the entire group was discovered by the German Gestapo. Anne Frank later died at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Otto Frank, the only survivor of the group, returned to the secret annex after the war and retrieved his daughter’s diary.

The moving story of how the non-Jewish Gies couple protected the Franks was preserved for history in The Diary of Anne Frank, which has been published around the world and translated into scores of languages.

Reacting to news of Gies’ death, Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, said in New York, “The only light in the ark of the murderous Nazi regime were those like Jan Gies who risked their lives to protect Jews.”

The ADL honored Jan and Miep Gies in 1987 with its Courage to Care Award. The couple also received an award in 1988 from the Vashem Holocaust museum and memorial in Jerusalem.

The Gieses shunned publicity for many years, but American author Allison Leslie Gold eventually persuaded Miep Gies to tell her story in Anne Frank Remembered, which was published in English in 1987.

Tel Aviv Clerk Spots Homemade Bomb

from Voice

A Tel Aviv grocery clerk prevented a potential disaster when he noticed that a coffee can seemed heavier than usual. The reason: it contained a bomb.

When a customer asked for a can of instant coffee, the clerk went to fetch a new supply. As he handed the can to the customer, he remarked: “That seems heavier than usual.”

The police were called to the scene and demolition experts discovered that the can contained explosives and a wristwatch timer device.

CIA Shootings

from USA Today

The fatal shootings outside the CIA in McLean, Va., in January were politically motivated, Fairfax County chief prosecutor Robert Horan said. He said the suspect, Mir Aimal Kansi, 26, told a roommate he was “unhappy with the way Muslims were being treated by the United States and the rest of the world.” The roommate, Zahed Ahmad Mir, 39, is jailed as a material witness and illegal immigrant. Horan said Mir knew Kansi “intended to shoot something up—either the White House, CIA or Israeli Embassy.” Authorities believe Kansi fled home to Pakistan and now may be in Afghanistan.

A Deeper Friendship

from The Jerusalem Report

An unforeseen spin-off of the deportee crisis has been closer personal ties between Prime Minister Rabin and Egypt’s President Mubarak.

Aides to the prime minister speak of “a very special relationship” evolving. “These days they think nothing of calling each other up,” says one senior aide. “It used to take weeks of deliberating the pros and cons.”

One dividend of the new friendship: Mubarak recently urged Egyptian U.N. Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali to take a less rigid line on the deportee issue.

Rabin, who visited Cairo almost immediately on taking office last August, attaches great importance to Egypt’s role as a facilitator in the peacemaking process. Sums up one aide: “If, in the prime minister’s strategic thinking, Washington holds the key to Israel’s position in the world, Cairo holds the key to Israel’s integration in the Middle East.”

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