This story was originally published by the WND News Center.
How far will Hollywood "progressives" go to advance their agenda of celebrating all things LGBT?
Evidently, as far as taking a real historical figure and making him homosexual – with zero evidence – as a tool to inject "queer" history into the storyline.
Tony Phelan and Joan Rater are the husband-and-wife creators of the popular historical mini-series "A Small Light," about Miep Gies, a Dutch woman who famously helped hide Anne Frank's family and other Jews from Nazi occupiers carrying out Hitler's "Final Solution" in World War 2-era Amsterdam.
The Hollywood couple takes "artistic license" to a whole new dimension by turning Gies' adoptive older brother, identified as Casmir ("Cas") Nieuwenburg, into a homosexual so they could highlight a Dutch gay man's role in the country's anti-Hitler resistance. Phelan then expanded on the deception in an interview by rationalizing that since Miep Gies had five adoptive siblings, "statistically, one of them had to be gay" – an assertion that is both historically and statistically reckless.
"If you're familiar with Anne Frank's story but never knew about Miep Gies' gay brother, it's because this aspect of the story is entirely fictional," states an analysis of the historical (in)accuracy of "A Small Light" on the "History vs. Hollywood" website.
"A Small Light," created by National Geographic, airs on the Disney+ streaming network. Walt Disney Co. recently gained majority ownership of National Geographic, allowing the eight-part series to air on Disney+.
The "Diary of Anne Frank" is one of the best-known and most powerful historical accounts of resistance to Nazi repression ever told. It is based on a diary kept by a Jewish teenage girl, Anne Frank, whose businessman father Otto Frank was forced to take his family into hiding in Amsterdam after the Nazis invaded the Netherlands in 1940 and began shipping off Jews and other "undesirables" to brutal work camps and concentration camps as part of their genocidal plans.
Miep Gies, whose Austrian birth name was Hermine Santruschitz, was adopted into a Dutch family and ended up being hired by Otto Frank, Anne's father, at an Amsterdam company. As the Nazi noose around the city's Jews tightened, Frank ultimately asked Gies to help him hide his family, in a secret annex above the company's offices located at Prinsengracht 263 in Amsterdam. She immediately agreed and hid the Frank family and others for two years until the annex was raided by the Gestapo on Aug. 4, 1944, with its Jewish occupants hauled away. Sixteen-year-old Anne Frank and her older sister Margot died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Nazi Germany in 1945.
"A Small Light" is unique in that it focuses on Miep Gies and her husband Jan Gies in telling the familiar Anne Frank story. Miep Gies discovered Anne Frank's diary after the Nazi raid and preserved it, eventually giving it to Otto Frank, who survived the Nazi camp (his wife, Edith, did not). Frank then published the diary after the war.
In real life, as a young, Austrian girl, Gies was sent by her impoverished, Catholic parents to live for a short while with a Dutch family to restore her health. She ended up liking the Netherlands so much that she considered herself Dutch and was eventually adopted into the Nieuwenburg family.
Miep had one adoptive sister and four Dutch brothers, the oldest of whom knew some German and helped translate her conversations. That brother, named "Cas" in "A Small Light," was turned into a homosexual by Phelan and Rater, as a way of highlighting the role of openly homosexual Willem Arondeus – whose heroic role in the Dutch resistance had not received the attention that it deserved, according to the mini-series' creators and various pro-LGBT historians.
Progressive opportunism: 'We have to tell that story'
Phelan explained his rationale for concocting an aberrant sexual identity for a long-deceased relative of the series' hero, Miep, and to use that as a vehicle to tell the story of Arondeus' role in the Dutch resistance.
"[Y]ou come upon a story like [the Amsterdam gay bar] Café 't Mandje and Willem Arondéus, and the fact that the first gay bar in Europe was this hotbed of the Resistance. In your research, you read that, and you're like, 'Well, we have to tell that story,'" he told Digital Spy in a May 23 interview with him, his wife and the show's writer/director, Susanna Fogel.
Phelan said that in episode five of "A Small Light," the speakeasy-type Dutch bar would become "the breeding ground for this big action that they're going to take against the Nazis" – a carefully-planned bombing of the main Dutch records office that the Nazis and their collaborators used to identify and target Jewish citizens.
"William was arrested afterwards and put to death by the Nazis, and he said to his lawyer, 'Let it be known that homosexuals are not cowards.' He said this in 1944, and those people were an integral part of that story," Phelan said.
In the same interview, Rater, Phelan's wife and co-creator of the series, said, "[W]e wanted to talk about a lot of different people doing" the same kind of resistance work as Miep and Jan Gies. Thus the Amsterdam homosexual bar, where resistance members hid weapons and Jews alike, became for them an irresistible subject matter.
With five siblings, 'one of them had to be gay'
But where was the hook? There was no actual, historical "queer" connection with Miep, so the creative team of Phelan, Rater and Fogel had to get really "creative" and manufacture one: "So there were all these amazing things about this place [Café 't Mandje] that we wanted to talk about," Rater told Digital Spy. "Miep had these five brothers, right? [She actually had four brothers and one sister.] We don't know that one of them was gay. But as Tony likes to say…"
"Statistically, one of them had to be gay," her husband Phelan interjects in the interview.
"At least [homosexually] curious," said Fogel, hopefully.
Rater continues: "That was a way to bring Café 't Mandje, and to have Jan be sent there by his boss to get help. So we just used that story that we wanted to tell. We wanted to tell this story of Willem Arondéus and that action of burning the records office ... We know that Jan and Miep didn't actually go to the burning of the records office, but we put them adjacent to it."
The creators' artificial injection of homosexuality into a retelling of the story of a heroic woman who, with her husband, risked their lives to save Jews, outraged critics who said it detracts from the Gieses' noble and sacrificial work.
"When presenting historical stories, it is dishonest and morally wrong to change facts to include progressive propaganda," Arthur Goldberg, president of the Congregation Mount Sinai of Jersey City Heights synagogue, told WND Monday. Goldberg is the former director of Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing, or JONAH, and author of Light in the Closet: Torah, Homosexuality and the Power to Change.
"It's very insulting. Walt Disney himself would be livid that his company is using the Holocaust to promote sexual perversion," said Brian Camenker, founder and president of MassResistance, a leading group opposing LGBT activism in the United States and across the globe. "And they're clearly lying about the memory of an innocent man to do it."
Dubious statistics, 'highly inaccurate'
Statistically speaking, Phelan's claim regarding the strong likelihood that of one of Miep's siblings was "gay" is deeply problematic, as even today in the U.S. – after decades of pro-homosexual and pro-LGBT media and educational advocacy – a Gallup poll puts the number of Americans identifying in 2021 as LGBT or "something other than heterosexual" at 7.1 percent. That is the highest number ever polled by Gallup, but still is not close to one in five.
A June video "fact check" by "Hollywood vs. History" titled, "Did Miep Gies Have a Gay Brother?" speculates that Phelan is using a misreading of the aforementioned Gallup poll to justify his "one in five" assertion for Cas' alleged homosexuality: "What [Phelan] seems to be alluding to there is a 2021 Gallup poll that found that approximately one in five young adults in America of Generation Z [18-24 year-olds] identified as LGBT. Now this poll is from 2021 and he's saying that this would have been the case in the late 1930s [or] early 1940s, which is arguably highly inaccurate. That's not to mention that the overwhelming majority of those surveyed in the 2021 Gallup poll identified as bisexual, not gay or lesbian."
Violent, virulent anti-trans mania going on'
At the conclusion of the Digital Spy interview, Phelan reveals his strong pro-LGBT-activist impulses that drove him to concoct the tale of Cas' "gayness": "What strikes me personally is, in certain parts of the United States now, there is this violent, virulent anti-trans mania going on – and I think there is a belief from some people that this is a new thing. That homosexuality is a new thing, that people being transgender is a new thing."
Phelan continues: "One of our responsibilities as storytellers is to say: This is not a new thing. This has always been there. It has always been a part of pretty much everyone's family. It just wasn't talked about as much."
But "History vs. Hollywood" is troubled by activists' manipulation of history in story-telling: "From an historical accuracy standpoint all of this begs the question: are the filmmakers using too much fiction to piggyback a certain social agenda onto the historical account of Miep Gies? This includes the character of Cas as well as the fictionalization of Jan Gies' role in the resistance. This is certainly something that Hollywood movies and TV series seem to be doing more and more."
A Small Light's "woke" creators attach the following disclaimer to each episode of the series: "This story is inspired by actual events. Certain incidents, locations and characters have been created or altered for dramatic purposes."
But that isn't good enough for conservative family advocate Matt Barber, who says regarding the series' "sexual orientation" falsehood: "It is unconscionable to smear the good name of a man long deceased by spreading the lie, without an iota of evidentiary support, that he was somehow a practitioner of disordered and high-risk sexual behavior," Barber, a constitutional attorney, and former Liberty University law professor, told WND Monday.
"This kind of propaganda would've made Joseph Goebbels proud," he said. "People are getting fed up with the alphabet soup lobby and their ramrodding of sexual deviancy down the throat of the public at large."
Most people who watch a series like "A Small Light" that employs agenda-driven "artistic license" will never see the historical correction from sites like "History vs. Hollywood." Even professional journalists fall for the filmmakers' sleight of hand, as illustrated by TIME Magazine's TV critic, Judy Berman, who, in her May 1 review of the Disney+/National Geographic series, wrote, as if based on real facts: "the Austrian-born Gies still lived with the Dutch family that had adopted her as a sick child. In an early scene from Nat Geo’s historical drama A Small Light, Miep’s (Bel Powley) parents urge her to wed her brother Cas (Laurie Kynaston), who isn’t a blood relative but does happen to be gay...."