Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Esther Posner - March 11, 1986

Relationship with Dutch Family

Um, the relationship with the people we were hiding with, with Kleinjan's deteriorated steadily. They, I mean, when I look at it now, I don't know how they put up with it, having six people in the house for over a year. I, I think it must have lasted a year and a half. Um, and we were always doing things that, you know, that upset them and that uh, that endangered them. For example, there, there was one time where there was a parade where--it just--the people of the city organized the parade and it must have been the Queen's birthday, or something like that. They weren't allowed--the Dutch uh, royalty, it's called the House of Orange, and they weren't allowed to use orange in decorating uh, the, the--whatever they decorated--the carts and the bicycles that they used in, in this parade, but they did it anyway. They used orange flowers and they tried to use red, white and blue flowers. But they, they did a kind of a--they, they tried to hide it. Um, and we were upset that the Kleinjan's didn't ask us to participate. That they didn't say to us, you know, "We'll bring the bicycle up to you, you decorate it." And we watched them decorating it and we were very jealous that they were having so much fun. And all the things that they could do, we couldn't do. And then when the parade went down the street, we stood--we, we tried to peak through the curtains and we saw them looking up at us and waving to us not to look out the window because we were endangering them. And uh, that was a kind of incident that, that was constantly happening. And uh, I saw in Anne Frank too where the, the people who were hiding them also came up and said, you know, "You can't do this, you can't do that, you have to be more careful," and yet the people who are hiding are, are so--it's such a difficult situation to constantly hide and uh, not be part of life. And you don't know when it's going to end that sometimes you just, you want to scream. There's just uh, the situation deteriorated so much that we weren't talking to each other anymore and uh, what really was the last straw that broke the camel's back was one of those little incidents where we had a waffle iron and we apparently used it to heat up some water and it smelled like we were making waffles. Of course, we weren't because nobody had all the ingredients to make waffles. But by the same token we were endangering the family because where would the smell be coming from? So they weren't home and when they came home and they smelled it, they came upstairs, number one they accused us of making waffles and not sharing it with them and number two we were, we were endangering them by doing this. And they said, "Out. We're, we're throwing you out," and they called the uh, um, the underground.

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