Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

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

Conditions in Hiding

But you didn't go out?


You stayed in the...

Only at night in the summer in the garden. It was in the back garden, we could go and look at the trees and eat an apple and ???...

And, and during the day, did you have to keep very--especially quiet?

Yeah. But we were whispering. Everybody was whispering. But when a lot of people whisper, then even...

All right. All right, do you think that anyone really--that people knew that you were there?


They did know?

The neighbors. Because it was like a duplex, it was--the roof was like this and it was divided.


And the people--but they never said that this good Dutch, they never said to um, the Vandenbergs, "Are you having people in the house, or you--I hear something." No. But after the war, they said, "We knew that you had people."

Uh-huh. Do you think maybe the authorities knew too?

Well, there were a lot of people at the end of the war knew it because, we were with fourteen, they were with six or five or six, so we--twenty, twenty-two, twenty-one people had to eat. So there were a few bakers who knew something. And they were really fed up with it, not with doing that, but that the war...

The war continued...

took such a long time. So they were starting talking to uh, the people um, like a baker and like a butcher and--or a, a farmer who has a lot of cows and is uh, selling uh, that meat or something, that they uh, have uh, people in hiding. We did not know that he told such a lot. We knew he was telling and that was very dangerous, because he was a very--and she--very honest people.

So they trusted everyone.

And they trusted everyone. And they couldn't understand that uh, so our life was just a very thin--hang on a very thin thread and...

...of the Vandenbergs?


Uh, so, you think were, were telling people?

Was talking, that he told us now...

Oh, he just told you...

He was talking to somebody and he was talking too much and then he thought, "Wow, I shouldn't have said that."


But and he said it at home to the parents and they said, ...Well, you shouldn't have said it." But he told the Jews, but to whom he told it, I don't know yet. But...

And you knew it was your lives, lives were hanging on a thread.


You were aware of that.

We knew, but last half of year, it was really the most dangerous. That was--well, it was mazel that we were uh, that we stayed alive.




Was just good luck.

I asked you about associations a little while ago.


And with the...


the, the Russian...


Do you think of anything when you hear, da da da da?

Yeah, of course. Then I think of--that they were [laughs] uh, we had uh, shutters, wooden shutters on the outside. And in the evening they did [knocks on table] and then we knew it was ???. Because this was what the BBC did and we listened in the evening to the BBC news.

Radio Orange?

And then [knocks on table] Radio Orange and then we heard the da, da, da, da.

And that meant it was safe to open the window?

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