Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

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

Meeting Husband (Con't)


but because they don't understand where I've been through and they will never understand it and there is--that level is not the same then and, and I can't help it. I'm getting impatient from that, so leave me alone and not--so um and I went uh, always in the shop for a charm when I had passed an exam. Uh, there was that girl which was the girlfriend from my--later my husband to me. And I said, "And how is Arnold doing?" Because I only went there because, you know--she said, "Fine, we are going to be engaged." I said, "Oh, well, mazel tov." Okay. So all of a sudden, I went with my brother-in-law and my sister a day uh, on--in February in 1951, to a dance, because I had a Jewish boy--boyfriend too, but we broke up. I--he was not serious and I didn't like that. So I said, well, before it--it's not for me. Then uh and Arnold came in, in with a whole crowd. And he came to me and he said, "Well, how are you?" I said, "Fine." "Um, can I have your telephone number?" Because I didn't live in Amsterdam--"And let's go out, okay?" And I said, "Well, that would be very nice." He said, "Do you still have that boyfriend?" I said, "No, I don't have that boyfriend anymore." And I said "And you? Are you not engaged to Deborah ?" He said, "No. She wanted me in the jewelry store and I want to be with my father in that store. And we had a big row about it and, and I'm not into jewels. I don't--that's not for me. I have to be with my father." I said, "Well, I can understand that."


So that was February and March and April and May and I forgot about that. So the 19th of May, in 1951, I will never forget it. That was on a Saturday and I was home. I was reading or doing something. And my brother-in-law came up from the business and he said to me, "Your husband--uh, your uh, there is a boy on the telephone, his name is Arnold Troostwyk. And he wants to talk to you." And the telephone was downstairs in the--in--in our basement. I went down. And he said to me, "Do you want to go for a dance tonight with me?" I said, "Well, I would love to." And I was very excited about it. Why was it? And the twentieth of May was my birthday. And I was twenty years then, the next day. And I should go out on Saturday the nineteenth with my sister and my brother-in-law to that same place that all Jewish people came there. And it was very elegant and lovely. And they said, "We do that Saturday, we go there for dinner and dance with you, for your birthday." I said, "Oh, that is beautiful." I had a, a lovely dress. It was made for me specially. But there were pox like--not chickenpox, there was um, that you get, um...


Smallpox. And um and everybody had to go for a shot. And so everybody went for a shot and my sister and my brother-in-law had a big arm and they had fever.


And I was so excited I didn't tell anything, because I want to go and my dress was there. And they said, "Well, my dear Miriam, let's do it next week after your birthday, because we have temperature and we don't feel well. And look, our hand, and how thick it is." I said, "I can understand it. Let's do it next week."

And then Arnold called.

And then Arnold called. So I was, "Oh, this is incredible!"


And it--and he didn't understand why I was so excited about it. So he came and he had a car and he picked me up, which was--I never had a boyfriend with a car. And so I got in.


In that time, that was something very special. And he picked me up and we went uh, to the dance. And I told him that, "Tomorrow is my twentieth birthday. And uh, we should have gone tonight, but they have uh, with the pox and they couldn't come. And I was very excited that you phoned me and that you invited me to that place where I wanted to go so bad. And I'd really like to go there." So he said, "Well, that is something very special." So he said, "Can you stay ...til twelve o'clock here?" I said, "Well, it's a little bit hard. I have to..."


"to call, because I--they are--they don't want me to come home so very late." He said, "Well, come, you will be twenty years, you're not a baby anymore." I said, "No, I know, but still, I have to call them." Okay. So I made a call and that was all right. He had the car. He's--brought me to...

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn