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February 16, 2023 3:46 pm

New Limited Series About Dutch Woman Who Hid Anne Frank’s Family Gets Release Date on Her Birthday


avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Miep Gies, played by Bel Powley, and Otto Frank, played by Liev Schreiber, watch as Nazi soldiers march down the street in Amsterdam in “A Small Light.” Photo: National Geographic for Disney/Dusan Martincek

A new limited series about the true story of Miep Gies, a Dutch secretary who helped hide Anne Frank and her family from the Nazis in Amsterdam during the Holocaust, will premiere on May 1, it was announced on Wednesday.

National Geographic made the announcement on would be Gies’ 114th birthday that A Small Light, produced by ABC Signature and Keshet Studios, will air on its channel with two back-to-back episodes. New episodes will debut every Monday on National Geographic and will available for streaming on Disney+ the next day.

Gies was asked by her boss Otto Frank, Anne’s father, to help hide his family during the Nazi occupation of Amsterdam and she agreed without hesitation. For two years, she and her husband, with several others who assisted them, kept watch over the Frank, van Pels and Pfeffer families as they hid in a secret annex during World War II.

The miniseries stars BAFTA-nominated Bel Powley as Gies, Joe Cole as her husband and Emmy-nominated actor Liev Schreiber as Otto. 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.”

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“A life once filled with parties and pints, the series details how Miep’s life changed the moment she said ‘yes,'” National Geographic and Disney+ said in a press release about A Small Light. “From daily food runs to scrounging for ration coupons to selling beloved heirlooms, it took countless selfless sacrifices.”

Gies was also the person who found Anne’s diary, kept it hidden from the Nazis and preserved it until she was able to give it to Otto after the war. He later shared his daughter’s diary with the world and it became an international best-seller.

“People may know the story of Anne Frank and her family, but what happened outside the annex walls was just as powerful, inspiring and resonant,” said Joan Rater and Tony Phelan, showrunners of the limited series. “When we heard about Miep and Jan’s inherent strength in risking their lives for others during the occupation, we were blown away. A Small Light is a true story that should never be forgotten. We hope it leaves a lasting impact on viewers and helps to show the importance of discovering untold stories of the Holocaust and the lessons it continues to teach.”

Get a behind-the-scenes look into the production of A Small Light in the video below.

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