Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

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

Sister Escapes Deportation

Did she, did she come out?

Yes. She came out in uh, um, 1939. She came to Holland. And I think that was um, at the end of the year, maybe it was already 1940. But the war started in Holland the 10th of May, 1940 and I think she came--or--and--...39, that I don't remember, or uh, beginning 1940. Uh, how do I say that? They had papers to go to the United States.


And uh, they booked already the Queen Mary, because they couldn't get their money out. And they had to--both a ticket on the Queen Mary from South Hampton to New York. And they had to--well, to sell everything and uh, so they made and they had some money and they uh, I know they came with a lot of beautiful clothes and evening dresses. I was looking at the dresses because I was a little girl, always, oh, those nice. And so...

And did they get out?

Well, at--in the middle of the night, there was a Razzia.

Uh, in 1940?

Yeah or end of...


1939 in um, Leipzig.

Oh, okay.

In Leipzig. And uh, they took them out of their bed early in the morning, maybe five or six o'clock in the morning. And they brought them to the station, to the big station in uh, Leipzig, that was a European famous station, a very...


big one. And there were trains and SS' ers with big shepherd dogs to rush the people in the trains. And my uh, brother-in-law said to my sister, "Don't rush. Don't--maybe the train is full and we have to wait." And uh, so the train was full and they had to go in the waiting room. And, and the Germans locked the waiting room. So--and they had to wait for the next train. But...


Eight o'clock in the morning, the cleaning lady was coming. And she rang the bell and nobody was there. And maybe the uh, um, neighbors told her that uh, she has to go to the station, because there was a Razzia this night and they took the Mieslers to that uh, station to go to Poland. And maybe you--they, they are waiting there for the train or the train is going, but was already away. So she ran to the station. And in the morning, came the fur...furriers came for work, in Leipzig, to the uh, um, the shop for my uh, brother-in-law. It was not an open shop, it was--how do you say that? Not retail, but ??? um.


Wholesale. He had um, skins. They were making skins. And uh, Leipzig was the fur business for the world at that time. And there was a big street, it's called the Bruhl, B-r-u-h-l and the Bruhl, that was only for furriers. It was like Seventh Avenue in uh, New York. So um, they came in the business and Herman wasn't there, my brother-in-law. So they all ran to the station with a white coat on, because they--when they came to work, they took off their uh, jacket and they put on a white, linen, long uh, coat. So they run in that coat to the station and they went to the uh, waiting room. They said uh, "Well, we have to talk to so-and-so," so they could come in. And the cleaning lady was in already. And they saw my sister and uh, brother-in-law. But my sister had--they both had a visa for the United States, an immigration visa.


And they had their tickets for...

Tickets for the...


for the Queen Mary.

So they uh, were talking and they said, "You know what you do, we will sit on your luggage." And my sister tried to come out of the waiting room to make a phone call and that she came out, but my brother-in-law had to stay in the waiting room. So she went out on the um, Bahn station how do you say that, uh...

The trains.

Where the trains are.


And there--she could--there was a glass house where she could uh, telephone--could make a...


Yes. So she made a telephone call to the Consulate, the American Consulate. And they said they, Well, we can't do anything for you while you are in the waiting room, we can't pick you up there, we can't do anything. But if there is a possibility that you come to us, then you are on the American uh, territory and nobody can do anything to you. But you have to get out of that waiting room." And while they were talking, she looked this way and she saw my brother-in-law running in a white coat over a...away from the station. So she didn't say goodbye or nothing. She, she just let it down and run behind him. They took a taxi and they went to the American Consulate.


And the cleaning lady, she was not Jewish. She was sitting in the waiting room. And the people who came from the business, one took the one...

his coat...

who was not Jewish took out his coat and gave it to him.


And they were in that waiting room. But they came out, I don't know how, but they came out in very quick and maybe the, the suitcases were there, but that didn't matter.

Right. It saved his life.

That I don't know. And the Razzias were over and they were in the American Consulate. And from there they went straight away to Berlin and from Berlin uh, with uh, uh, KLM or something, what was--I don't know what the name in that time was before the war...

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