There are several people in my life that I consider heroes of mine- not many, but a few. Unfortunately, some have died but there’s still a couple. There’s a lot more in history, though.

For one, or several, rather, when you consider that she was part of a team, there’s Miep Gies. Of course, it goes without saying that Anne Frank is a major league hero of mine as well- writing of how I feel about her would take another post at the very least- I was so grateful I got to visit the annex, and on a slow day when there was almost nobody there.


Top LtoR: Johannes Kleiman, Victor Kugler// Bottom LtoR: Miep Gies, Otto Frank, Bep Voskuijl

I can’t recommend Miep’s memoir highly enough, and the audio version is the format I would recommend. An incredible actress (from Orange is the new Black, among others) named Barbara Rosenblat reads it, and does a flawless Dutch accent. Reading this book was another time where I felt a kinship with the culture and identity of the people of the Netherlands. I like the cut of their jib, mostly.

Every time I can’t get some dumb item because of supply chain issues, it doesn’t really bother me. I remember reading her account of the superhuman effort it took for Miep and countless others to scrape together food, clothes, and necessities every single day for so many people, for so long, in secret, and lives are on the line every day because P.S. you’re under the martial law of Nazis. Miep was pretty much fearless, and razor sharp.

That fucking book of hers is harrowing. She and Bep found Anne’s diary after they were all taken away, amidst the chaos and disorder left behind in the annex. She kept it, and gave it to Otto when he finally returned.

Gerda Weismann Klein

Ever since I found out about Gerda from an Oscars ceremony years ago, I’ve used her beautiful phrase “the magic of a boring evening at home”. I was instantly spellbound as she so deftly took control of the voice of the room, and I had to find out more about her. That was also the night Christopher Reeve made a surprise appearance and a gutwrenching speech.

She eventually married the American soldier who liberated her, Kurt Klein.

This book of Gerda’s is also unputdownable:

I keep going back to those two women a lot in my mind over the last 10 years or so. Especially when shocking, nightmarish things are unfolding on the world stage. The thought of these women and the lives they led make me feel better; they help me search for the strength to get through horrible shit. And they make me think of what humans are capable of: the Best, as well as the Worst. In my opinion, reconciling this is one of humanity’s greatest challenges, if not the greatest.

The struggle is real.

But to take the edge off, it’s good to also remember to give myself a break from heartache occasionally. You may or may not remember something on Netflix I suggested a couple times that I thought would be SO much fun to watch with you- “Oh Hello On Broadway” with John Mulaney and Nick Kroll, who put on a limited run of a stage show based on these two characters they came up with named George and Gil. They’re two old longtime New Yorkers of a certain stripe who are utterly in their own very detailed and very opinionated world. They are both devoted fans of Steely Dan, and many, many references are made to them and their music throughout the filmed play. The whole thing is fucking hilarious, if you’re not too easily offended, and there are fun surprises.


Sutton Hoo hoard- helmet reproduction
Dig site for buried Viking ship at Sutton Hoo


I hope you’re doing ok. I hope the work is going well.





Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store