In the previous episode of A Small Light, Jan expressed his interest in playing a more decisive role in the Resistance. Willem unveiled the grenades and bombs he had been hiding at the club and added that the Resistance had a big plan ahead. As Jan’s contribution to the Resistance intensified, Miep started to see less of him. He was barely at home and was mostly too tired to have a proper conversation with Miep. In episode 5 of A Small Light, we witness the impact of sociopolitical conditions on Miep and Jan’s marriage. While their marriage was an act of convenience to begin with, Miep was left to wonder if it had become completely devoid of love.
Why Did Miep And Jan Get Married?
Miep’s passport was revoked by the Nazis during the occupation. Along with the Jews, the Nazis had also targeted the immigrants, and Miep had only three months to leave the country. Miep was about to lose all that she had built over the years, and Otto Frank advised her to get married to her Dutch boyfriend to continue living in the Netherlands. Miep met Jan at his friend’s farm, an hour south of Amsterdam, where he was helping with the harvest. Jan was in the middle of shoveling manure to fertilize the field when Miep proposed to marry him. Jan was a little disappointed with the circumstances of the proposal. Right after divorcing his previous partner, he had started planning on making a grand gesture, and a proposal in the manure field was not what he had in mind. Miep cheered up Jan by proposing to him, and what seemed like an awkward place for a proposal turned into a treasured memory. Miep and Jan’s marriage was one of the happiest memories Anne had. She idolized their marriage and hoped that one day she, too, would find true love like Miep. Anne did not know the complexities of life, and what she assumed to be the happiest day in Miep’s life was, in reality, a day laced with fear and panic. Miep was afraid that the wedding would be interrupted by a Nazi and that she would be forced to leave the country. But she was lucky that things went according to plan, and she ended up getting married to the man she loved.
While sharing the details of her wedding, Miep wondered if her marriage was purely out of convenience. Her husband was mostly absent, and she missed the time they could discuss every tiny detail of their lives with each other. Frustrated with her situation, Miep decided to protect Anne from heartbreak and encouraged her to be more realistic. Though she soon realized that, as a little girl stuck in an annex, her elaborate dreams were all she had to keep going; at a time when the reality was too painful to live through, believing in fairytale romance could do no harm.
Was Jan Involved In The Bombing At The Civil Registry Office?
Jan helped the Resistance create a blueprint for the Civil Registry Office. The Resistance wanted to get rid of all traces that helped the Nazis identify the Jews. Jan wanted to do more than just help with the blueprints. When Willem asked him to shoot a Nazi officer at a hotel, Jan agreed to do it. Even though he trembled in fear, he gathered courage and pointed his gun at the officer. He eventually found out that it was just a test and that the man in question was a member of the Resistance. Willem constantly reminded Jan that martyrdom was not always the answer and that there was no shame in choosing his life and his family. He believed that the pain of not doing enough would always haunt Jan, no matter how hard he tried.
Cas noticed Jan and Willem at the bar, and he decided to meet Miep the next morning. His partner was a member of the Resistance, and he knew that they were planning something big. He realized that Miep distanced herself from her family because of the secrets she was forced to keep. Cas simply wanted Miep to be cautious. Miep found a gun in Jan’s drawer, and she demanded that he answer if he was part of the big plan. Jan admitted that he was doing more than shuffling papers and he could potentially die as a result of his involvement. As much as Miep was willing to do for the cause, she was not ready to lose her husband. She requested that Jan stay, but he chose to leave nonetheless. The Civil Registry Office was bombed that night, and Miep reached the spot in an instant. Jan was nowhere to be found, and Miep spent the next two days in a complete haze. At the end of episode 5 of A Small Light, Miep received a letter in her office that read “Shit Field”. Miep knew that it was Jan who had reached out to her, and she traveled to the spot where she once proposed to him. Jan was alive and well; he chose not to take part in the bombing. Perhaps the thought of leaving Miep forever killed Jan a little. He realized that being there for Miep was also his duty as her husband.
Who Was Kuno? Why Did Max And The Nurses Seek Shelter?
Jan helped Mrs. Stoppelman leave for Hilversum. The woman who agreed to hide Mrs. Stoppelman, in return, hoped that Jan could help hide her son, Kuno. Kuno had gotten into trouble with the local Nazi party for not agreeing to sign their loyalty pledge. While Jan and Miep looked forward to living in their apartment alone, they happily accepted Kuno and his girlfriend. But later, after they met their Nazi neighbor, Jan and Miep knew that they could get into trouble for even the slightest carelessness. Hiding Kuno was a challenge they were forced to accept, and when the Omnia Trust barged into their apartment, they realized that their situation was only getting worse with time. Kuno managed to escape from one room to another as the members of the trust scanned the apartment. While it was a relief that Kuno was left unharmed, he struggled to shake off his nervousness.
Soon after the Omnia Trust members left, there was another knock at the door. Max Stoppelman and two nurses, Liesje and Betje, working at the Jewish Council, entered their apartment. The children staying at the nursery were taken away by the Nazis to the Westerbork transit camp. Liesje and Betje had locked themselves in a closet, and when there was silence, they reached out to Max. Betje wanted to turn herself in and accompany the children to Westerbork. She felt betrayed and wanted to be there for the children until the very end but Liesje stopped her. Max had a hiding place outside the city, and Jan agreed to help them reach it. Jan advised Max to bring his wife, Stella, to their house for the night. Miep felt overwhelmed with responsibility when Jan stated to her in secrecy that there was no way that they could make it out of the city. It meant that they would be sheltering four more people in their house.
With the Omnia Trust forcefully entering the house and the new NSB Officer as their neighbor, Miep believed that there was no way that they could pull it off. Jan wanted to take his chance, even if it meant more trouble. The new guests were requested to maintain silence, meanwhile Kuno fell all the more sick. Thankfully, there were two nurses in the house, though his symptoms had them worried. With five guests in her house, Miep had to travel to her office to check on the Franks and Van Pels. She noticed that Edith was gradually losing touch with reality. She had become more forgetful and craved to live her normal life outside of the annex. But Miep did not have the time to cater to her needs. She had to bring them food and the radio that she left at home, along with making sure that they were not loud. Her worst fear came true when Anne and Peter dropped a bag of beans that created a deafening noise. After leaving the annex, she learned that Tony Ahlers was at the office. He offered Miep money in return for information on the Franks. Miep wondered if Tony already knew that she was hiding them. Meanwhile, Miep also learned that Gerrit, the potato supplier, knew her secret. But he was in support of Miep. He made sure to bring the large orders without raising suspicion. While Miep did not know what to think about Gerrit, she was afraid that things were gradually getting out of hand.
Who Informed The Nazi Officer About The Frank Family?
Miep, Johannes, and Victor realized that the secret annex was no longer safe for the Franks and Ven Pals. People noticed more, and every little mistake they made confirmed the doubts of the Nazis. They could not help but wonder that if the potato seller knew about the hideout, then surely NSB officer Tony Ahlers had already found out about it. They could not trust anyone anymore. They also did not have too many options in hand— transferring eight of them to a different location was almost impossible, and locking them completely meant that they would lose the little freedom that was left. Miep’s attention soon got diverted after receiving a phone call. She rushed home and found Kuno in terrible condition. After puking blood, he felt better, but his screams had caught the attention of the Nazi neighbor. Jan pretended to be hurt to explain the noise.
Miep was tired of being in a constant state of panic. She believed that she was not saving lives; she was rather risking them. Jan knew that given the situation outside, whatever they could do to protect the ones they knew would count. Jan spoke to Bram and found a way to sneak the four Jews out of his house. As they were walking through an alley, a Nazi officer stopped them. The four attempted to run, but Jan asked them to stop. Officers Baars and Borst worked with Bram to rescue Jews, and they staged the ambush to make it believable. Meanwhile, Miep was gradually losing control of herself. She was irritated by how careless the Franks and Van Pels were getting, but thankfully, the news that they delivered calmed her down. The Allies had landed in France, and Miep found some hope in the bleak times. There was a sudden knock at the office door, and Miep opened it to find Gerrit. He brought in the surplus strawberries from one of his dealers, and he asked Miep to share them with people, further implying that he had already guessed the truth. The families celebrated the news of the Allies approaching by making strawberry jam. While the news was relieving, Miep realized that she would only be at peace when it was all over.
Episode 6 of A Small Light ends with Miep reaching the secret annex the next morning with the shopping list, and right after sitting down at her desk, she noticed a bean on the ground. She reached to pick it up, and suddenly there was a Nazi officer holding a gun at the back of her head, asking her to stay still. There is a lack of concrete evidence about who the betrayer of the Frank family was. There are multiple theories about the informant, but (apparently) there is compelling evidence that pinpoints a member of the Jewish Council, Arnold Van den Bergh. He had a list of hideout addresses, and it is believed that he submitted the list to protect his family. Some believe that a warehouse worker informed the Nazis, while other theories conclude that the Nazis found the secret annex by chance. It will be interesting to see which theory A Small Light chooses to showcase in the end.