Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

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

Changing Jobs

Send them...

Yeah. So maybe two or three months later, he said to me, "I was phoned from the ??? Pom in Amersfoort uh, P-o-m. They have a big automobile import. They import the German Volkswagen..."

Okay, Hm.

"from Wolfsburg and it is huge. It--and you have to correspond in German. And the secretary is going to marry and it takes--she will have three months to um, to train you."

To train you.

"And then she is going away up to ???."

Do you remember the name of this teacher?

Dan Owl uh, like an owel uh, an owel, Mr. Owel uh, but Dan Owl.

Dan, is--that was his first name?

Dan Owl...


was his name. And he said, go there, I will phone them that I found somebody from my school. And go there and talk to them. And it was five minute walk from my home where I lived, lived. And um, so I went there and I said, "Well, I have, I have the address from uh, my school and from Mr. Dan Owl. And I work at the consulate from Israel in Amsterdam, but I'm very good in German. And I speak it fluently and I write it very well and I can have any diplomas from Handel's uh, Trade Correspondence in German, English and I can do steno. What can you offer me?" He said, "Well, we have a very good secretary." I said, "Yes, but I'm better because..."


I'm born in Germany and I speak it fluently." He said, "Um, well" and I said, "I live here five minutes." Oh, yeah, he knows everything. "Okay," he said, "well, I will take you for um, uh, four months or something, if you are not what we are looking for in that four months..."

Then you'll have to--this is a trial you're...

"then you'll have to leave."


I said, "Well, I have--I think I have a better idea. I'm going to school on Tuesday morning and on Thursday morning. And in the afternoon, I've been going to Amsterdam and I work there and I work on Sunday. I offer you to work three months in your office on Tuesday morning and Thursday morning..."


without paying. You don't have to pay a penny for it."

Instead of going to school?

Instead of going to school. Um, I think I just finished it. So I had that two mornings.


I said, "I am uh, willing to come and work and in the afternoon, then I go to my job in Amsterdam. And I--and the whole week I'm there. And I do that for nothing for three months for you. And after three months, you can tell me whether you like me to come and I can tell you whether I like to come."

[laughs] Good.

"But after the three months, then I know, because I don't want to lose my other job, because it's hard to get a job." He said, "Well, that is very good, but then I have another question. I have such a thick book, like this. Can you translate it for me?" I said, "Okay, I will do that on the weekends when I'm not working, for nothing." And that will be together...

But still for nothing.

with the two things--because I had my salary at uh, uh, Consulate, which was really not much, but okay. And I was there and the girl trained me. And then she left and that was after the three months. And I said, "What, what do you offer me for salary?" So I knew what she was earning and that was a lot of money. I knew that from the director. And I thought, I'm not going to tell him what I earn. I don't say that. So I--he said, "What do you want?" I said, "Well, when you take me,"--I knew what she was earning, it was about 250 guilders--that was a lot in that time--a month.

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