Jan Gies

Jan Gies, like his wife Miep, helped the people in hiding in the Secret Annex.

Jan Augustus Gies was born on 18 August 1905 in the parental home Rustenburgerstraat 191, Amsterdam as the son of Cornelis Gies and Wilhelmina Gezina Steenge.[1] He was the youngest of five children and was preceded by: Rosina Wilhelmina (Ro), Cornelis, Fenna Gesiena and Johanna Augusta.[2]

The Gies family lived at various addresses in the Pijp area, and from 1917 to 1919 in the then independent Watergraafsmeer. Jan's parents divorced in 1925.[3] He continued to live with his father until his first marriage, except for the period April — October 1927, which he spent in Eindhoven.

On 13 December 1928, he married M.M.G. Netten. From January 1936 they no longer lived in the same house, but the marriage was not officially dissolved until the end of 1940. After the divorce Jan Gies lived in the boarding house of the Amende family on the Amsteldijk. When the boarding house moved to Rijnstraat, he moved with them.

He met his second wife Miep when they both worked at Schellekens Borduur- en Plisseerateliers. They could not marry for many years because of Jan's first marriage. In the course of the 1930s Jan met Otto Frank, by then Miep's employer.

Around 1939, Jan started working for the Social Support Department of the municipality of Amsterdam. During the war years he became involved in the civil servants' resistance movement. His work made it relatively easy to deliver goods and documents to all sorts of addresses. One of his contacts was Social Support Department colleague Jacob Licht, who had to find other work after the February Strike. His reading material lending service business grew to become the COMO reading library. Every week Jan collected books here for the people hiding in the Secret Annex. As the husband of Miep and the commissioner of the firm Gies & Co, Jan was closely involved with the people in hiding. After Jan had been suspended by the leadership of his organisation due to danger, and the people in hiding had been arrested, the last months until the liberation passed relatively peacefully for him.

After the liberation, he was seconded for some time to the Volksherstel (Restoration of People) organisation. Later he resumed his old work. In the 1980s, Miep often related her story, but Jan kept more in the background. In 1972 he received the Yad Vashem decoration at the intercession of Otto Frank. He died at the age of 87 in Amsterdam.[4]


  1. ^ Stadsarchief Amsterdam (SAA), Burgerlijke Stand (toegang 5009), inv. nr. 7508: register van geboorteakten 1905, deel 17, 5f, no. 9649.
  2. ^ SAA, Dienst Bevolkingsregister, Gezinskaarten (toegangsnummer 5422): Gezinskaart C. Gies (1868)
  3. ^ SAA, Dienst Bevolkingsregister, Archiefkaarten (toegangsnummer 30238): Archiefkaart W.G. Steenge.
  4. ^ Literature: Aukje Vergeest, Anne Frank in the Secret Annexe: who was who?, Amsterdam: Anne Frank House, 2015.

Digital files (1)

Persoonsbewijs van Jan Gies, 19 november 1943.