Synopsis: Based on fact. In 1942, Amsterdam begins to feel the clutch of German Nazi reign. Miep Gies, recently married and working as a secretary, must make the choice between values and security to save the family of her boss and friend, Otto Frank.
Rationale: My inspiration for this short story came from taking the class "Anne Frank: The Adolescent Self" with Dr. Carol Lipszyc last spring. While the class detailed Frank's writing and her growth as an artist and young adult during her family's time in the attic, I found myself fascinated and saddened by the war's atmosphere in Europe at the time. The general feeling of gloom and anxiety was so much less sprightly than Anne's writing. Nazi forces had entered Holland by 1940, and slowly began implementing more and more rules designed to oppress and identify the country's Jewish population. The rest, narrowly saved by birth or marriage, stood directly in the face of a choice between speaking out or staying silent, and for many, certainly, silence was safer. Yet some brave souls could not be silenced -- so they worked as quietly as they could to save their neighbors and friends from a horrible fate. The story of such heroes as Miep and Jan Gies, who helped to hide the Frank family for more than two years, is one of the greatest instances of human kindness I have ever heard of, and one that moved and inspired me to illustrate the enormous decision made in one small Amsterdam kitchen.