Life & Culture

A Small Light: TV show tells the story of Miep Gies who risked her life to try and save the Franks

The Frank's Dutch secretary hid Anne's diary during the war and helped ensure it was published


The trailer for the Holocaust Drama, “A Small Light”, has been released, telling the story of Miep Gies, the Dutch woman who risked her life to try and save Anne Frank and her family.

Starring Liev Schreiber as Otto Frank and Bel Powley as Gies, the eight-episode series covers the early 1940s, as Otto asks his secretary in her twenties to hide him and his family from the Nazis, as they advanced through Germany.

Miep, her husband Jan (Joe Cole), and other everyday heroes spend the next two years guarding the Franks, where they hid in the secret annex in Amsterdam. After the family were discovered and arrested in 1944, Miep found Anne's diary and preserved it, ensuring it would be shared with the world.

The series title comes from something Gies said late in life: “I don’t like being called a hero because no one should ever think you have to be special to help others. Even an ordinary secretary or a housewife or a teenager can turn on a small light in a dark room”.

Gies, who died in 2010 at the age of 100, released a book in 1987 titled Anne Frank Remembered: The Story of the Woman Who Helped to Hide the Frank Family, which details how she protected the Frank family and many others escaping the Nazi regime.

Joan Rater, Executive Producer and Creator, said that “it was really important for us to make this story feel modern and relevant to wipe the cobwebs off it”.

Billie Boullet, who plays Anne, believes the story is “definitely relevant today because there is racism and anti-Semitism in this world. [It’s a] different format but it’s still happening.”

The show, filmed in Prague and Amsterdam and shot outside Frank’s real-life apartment, will be released in Spring 2023 on Disney+ and National Geographic. It was produced by ABC Signature in partnership with Keshet Studios for National Geographic. The series was written by Joan Rater and Tony Phelan.

Schreiber has said: “As a Jewish American who gets offered a lot of Holocaust stuff, it’s my job to reinvent. Whatever you think you know about this story, I’m going to try to figure out something that you haven’t seen yet."

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