Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

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

Dangers of Hiding

Now, when you were there um, you were aware that you were in danger and the Vandenbergs...

That we all were in danger.

The Vandenbergs as well...


they knew.

Well, I have the feeling that--first of all, nobody knew how long the war will be.


That's like Kosovo. Day one, day two, two days, day--I don't know, fifty-eight or the sixtieth day.


And um, nobody knew that it will take five years. If it--if they would have known that they will have fourteen people two and a half years and how dangerous it was, well, I think--I don't know whether...

Did you ever talk to the Vandenbergs? I mean, were they regularly...

Yeah, they were...

you would have conversations with them?

very nice uh, uh, people--not educated at all. But it doesn't matter.


They were very good hearted and very...

Why do you think they did it? Why do you think they did it?

lucky. They did it to do good to people, because they were Catholic and they went to church and very poor and they were very poor and also a little bit--maybe for the money, but not really for the money. They really, they really didn't do it for the money.

You paid them.

We paid them. And when we paid them in be...in the beginning, they got money that it is for easier life for them.


But they--from the beginning, they didn't think of it and later they didn't think of it too, but when the money comes in, then you can buy uh, more food or things or whatever you--it makes it a little bit easier, it made for them in the beginning. But nobody uh, ever recognized how terrible--how dangerous it was.

They didn't know they would die?


Now, they belonged to a church.

Yes, Catholic church.

The Catholic church. So there must have been lots of congregants of the church in the--in the area. Did they all hide people?


And yet they probably were also religious or, or at least in...


belonged to the church.

They um, David Santcroos knew them and came to them and he said, can you help me with hiding some family for me?


And then I will be there too. And they knew his parents. His parents--his father, came always with a little suitcase, with things in it to sell, sowing uh, and, and buttons and maybe cleaning things, I, I don't know exactly. And once a month he came to--in the street to all the people...


in, in the village. And he came to Mrs. Vandenberg. And Mrs. Vandenberg always said, "I--before we drink coffee, I first do business with you."


And then he wanted to sell a lot and she bought some things and--but she liked him. And then he said, "Well, um, will you buy this? It will cost less for you," or something like that. Sometimes she did. And after that he um, they were drinking coffee. So that is how she knew ??? father.

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