Liev Schreiber to Star in Series on Dutch Woman Who Sheltered Anne Frank’s Family During Holocaust
Jewish actor Liev Schreiber will co-star in an upcoming Disney+ and National Geographic limited series about the true story of Miep Gies, the Dutch woman who sheltered Anne Frank and her family during World War II and also hid the young Holocaust victim’s diary from the Nazis.
Schrieber will play Otto Frank, Anne’s father, in the upcoming series “A Small Light,” which will also star Joe Cole (“Peaky Blinders”) and Jewish actress Bel Powley (“The Diary of a Teenage Girl”) in the lead role, according to Deadline. The eight-episode series is being backed by ABC Signature and Israel’s Keshet Studios. Work will begin on the limited series over the summer in Prague and Amsterdam.
Powley will play Gies, Otto’s faithful secretary who agreed to hide him and his family from the Nazis in Amsterdam. Gies and her husband Jan (played by Cole) cared for the Franks and four others as they hid for two years in a secret annex in the attic of Otto’s company Opekta. The couple told no one of their efforts while living under Nazi occupation in the Netherlands, as they coped with the struggles of daily life and a new marriage.
Gies found Anne’s diary after the Frank family was arrested by the Nazis, and kept it until she could return it to Otto after World War II. Otto was the only member of his family to survive the Holocaust.
The show’s title references a quotation by Miep, who said, “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.” She died in 2010 at the age of 100.
The series’ co-writers, “Grey’s Anatomy” veterans Joan Rater and Tony Phelan, will also serve as co-executive producers and showrunners, according to Deadline. Susanna Fogel will direct the pilot and other episodes, and will executive producer with Keshet Studios’ Peter Traugott; Keshet International’s Alon Shtruzman; and Keshet Media Group’s Avi Nir.