Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

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

Knowledge of Events in "the East"

In code.

how terrible everything was. The most terrible things in code. And, and my mother was reading that and crying. And I was sitting at the table and my sister and they were discussing it, "Isn't that terrible? And, they and they are nearly dead and what is happening to the baby? And Clara who is such a young wife and her husband is in the United States. He tried to get her over with a affidavit and he can't get her out of ghetto," and, and my mother desperate and everything. And I was sitting there and I heard everything. So then I said, "Why do we have these backpacks? I'm not going. And I don't know why you make this. Why don't you go hiding? You don't try anything to do."

You said this.

Yes. I said, "Don't go! Don't let them uh, pick you so very quick! You have to do something for it! There's a lot of people going in hiding here. And do it!" So they said, "When we do it, we do it for you." Well, I didn't understand that that they did it only for me, because I thought, well, you want to live, don't you want to? But I didn't say that to them. So there was a, a girlfriend from my uh, sister, she was in 1938, running away from Germany with her husband--or 1939, with a young boy, Guenter. He was uh, in the Le... like Fred Lessing, a little bit younger maybe.

Uh-huh, six.

Maybe he was--yeah, or, or five or four, something in that--and um, they were from a very well-to-do family in Germany, but they didn't have a penny here and they couldn't work--he couldn't work. So what did he do? He, he made for the Holland-America line, the cruise line, what is now the cruise line...


was then, I don't know what it was, it was the Holland-America line. He made models, ship, by his head, the most beautiful ships you can ever imagine...


???. And there he made uh, a little bit living. And we all gave money to help them. And I know I had an old--a stroller for me, they gave them and all these things. And that boy went hiding. And he went hiding in Friesland, up here, with a very nice family, Onslip and Tante Shietska, Tante Shietska, I think, Yitska--Shietska and she uh, yeah, I don't remember anyway. And they were married and they had a beautiful farm with cows and sheeps and everything. And they--and she was a teacher. And they said, "We have no children, piece give us the two children. Give us Guenter and give us Miriam." And Guenter had black hair. "We will die his hair that he is blonde."

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