'A Small Light' shares story of woman who hid Frank family from Nazis during the Holocaust

BySandy Kenyon OTRC logo
Wednesday, May 3, 2023
'A Small Light' shines focus on woman who helped Frank family during Holocaust
Sandy Kenyon has more on the new NatGeo series "A Small Light."

NEW YORK -- Most of us are familiar with "The Diary of Anne Frank," which chronicled the life of a young Jewish woman and her family who hid from the Nazis during World War II, but you may not know the story of the woman who did so much to protect the Franks in Amsterdam.

The National Geographic series "A Small Light" tells the story of Miep Gies.

The new show takes its title from the words of this courageous woman, who survived the war and lived a long life to inspire us all.

Miep Gies was fond of telling people, "No one should ever think they have to be special in order to help others. Any ordinary person can turn on a small light in a dark room:"

The hazards of helping are obvious in a new limited series set during the Holocaust, but unlike other stories about this horror, the focus of "A Small Light" is on Gies who did her best to save Otto Frank and his family by hiding them from the Nazis.

"She really was an ordinary kind of every woman who I could relate to on so many levels, but who did this incredible heroic act," said Bel Powley who plays Miep Gies. "And I think I've learned from her that we all do have that good inside of us."

Liev Schreiber plays the father of Anne Frank whose diary survived even though she did not.

"I didn't know much about Anne Frank. I mean I obviously knew her story, but I thought she was this reserved little girl who was shy and sweet, and she's not. I mean she's strong and opinionated and my God, she'll say what she thinks," said Billie Boullet who plays Anne Frank.

Anne Frank's sister Margot was actually the one who was shy and reserved.

This story had a special resonance for the young woman who plays her.

"The reason I'm here today is because my grandma is a Holocaust survivor, and I remember her telling me all the moments of hope in her story and how that allowed her to survive," said Ashley Brooke who plays Margot Frank.

And today "A Small Light" may be more important than ever.

"Antisemitism is massively on the rise, and also Miep just standing up, right in the face of like hatred and standing up for what was right, we can learn from that because of what'd going on in the world today," Powley said.

Events in this series took place 80 years ago but "A Small Light" makes what happened highly relevant while the younger members of the cast make their characters so relatable.

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"A Small Light" premieres Monday night on NatGeo and streams Tuesday on Disney+ and Hulu. All are owned by the same parent company as this station.