Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Miriam Troostwyk - May 28, 1998 and June 3, 1999


Um, so that, so that you, you think you lost no one, then in uh, in Poland, at least.

Um, well, there was a brother from my mother um, I, I don't know whether he was a rabbi. There was always a picture in the bedroom, a big picture with a beard and a high, uh.


No, not a streimel in uh, how do you call this, on your head?

A top hat?

Yes, but a higher one. And he was a very nice man with a long beard. And that was a brother from my mother, very Orthodox, of course. And they uh, he lived there and he didn't survive.

Uh-huh. And did...

He stayed in Poland.

And did he have a family as well?

And my mother had another brother, his name was uh, S...Shmuel. And he immigrated to America. But I don't know how old he was or how, how young he was. I don't know. Because when my mother came to the United States in 1953, with my sister and my brother-in-law um, she saw her brother for the first time and that--after Poland and that was forty years later.

Oh, my goodness.


Yeah. Now, the, the brother who stayed, did he have children, uh?

I don't know anything about him.

You don't know anything about him. Um...

My sister lives here, Michigan, she is eighty-seven. She'll be, in October, eighty-eight. But she's very, very forgetful. So when I ask her things, then sometimes she knows, but mostly she doesn't know or the date is a little bit wrong or something.

Do you have any memory of uh, of Leipzig at all?

No. I was two and a half years...

So all your memories are of Dutch?



But everything I know from Germany is what my mother and my sister told me. We had a very big family and a very lovely family life in Germany--in Leipzig.

And, and where in Holland did you come to?

I came to Amersfoort. That is uh, a very small uh, city. It is in--not far from Hilversum. It was more...

Hilversum is here, yeah. It was...

This is Hilversum.

on the map?

And Biessum and this is Amersfoort.

Oh, Amersfoort, uh-huh.

That's Amersfoort. And...

Which is about...

my father, my mother, my sister and I, we went to Amersfoort. And a sister from my father, with her husband and a brother from that husband and wife, with children and they had one uh, two sons in that time, living in Amsterdam too. Well, it was not Amsterdam, they lived in Biessum for--in the beginning.


But the business was in Amsterdam. They were furriers and that was wholesale. They did wholesale Biessum in uh, Amsterdam.

And what did your father do?

My father always worked with the two brothers...

I see. And the family...

in Germany.

The family life that you--that your mother and sister told you about, was it--you, I assume, re-created that when you went to, uh...

We had a lovely family...

uh, Amersfoort.


What do you remember about um, your childhood and your family?

Well, what I remember is that we went uh, always on the weekend, nearly every weekend or they came over to us, from Biessum or Amsterdam or we went to them.

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