Mirjam Troostwijk

"I always tell my daughter and grandchildren about my war experiences to make sure they know what we went through so it should never happen again."

Name at birth
Maranne Kerkut
Date of birth
Where were you born?
Where did you grow up?
Moved at age 3 from Germany to Amersfoort, The Netherlands
Name of father, occupation
Azriel Kerkut, Furrier
Maiden name of mother, occupation
Zilpah Kerkut-Gritz, Homemaker and owner of a notion's business
Immediate family (names, birth order)
My parents, my older sister Paula Meisler-Kerkut, 20 years my senior and me
How many in entire extended family?
About 65. My father had four brothers and four sisters; my mother had four sisters and two brothers
Who survived the Holocaust?
My mother, sister, brother-in-law, and myself, two aunts and three uncles
I went into hiding in Velp, a suburb of Arnhem in The Netherlands at age 9 with my mother, my older sister and her husband, my brother in law.  
Where were you in hiding?
We were in hiding with three other families. The total number of people in hiding in the attic was thirteen. The name of the street the hiding place was on was Jerusalem. The Dutch underground helped us find this family of righteous gentiles where we hid for three years with thirteen people! Years later I was able to arrange to have a memorial stone put in the sidewalk where we were hidden for those years. The people who hid us were Mr. and Mrs. Van Den Berg. They themselves had four sons My mother, sister, brother-in-law and I boarded a train after we had removed our Stars from our clothes. Our train left our home in Amersfoort to and went to Arnhem.
Where did you go after being liberated?
We went back to Amersfoort and my brother-in-law continued the furrier business of my father who had died of a heart attack early in the war.
When did you come to the United States?
I visit my daughter and two grandchildren about twice a year but I still live in Europe.
Where did you settle?
Amersfort, then I got married and we settled in Amsterdam, Holland
Occupation after the war
Executive Secretary
When and where were you married?
May 3, 1953 in Amersfoort, the Netherlands
Arnold Troostwijk, Auctioneer and Appraiser
Alice Troostwijk-Subia, registered nurse
Two: Samuel Subia and Julianne Subia
What do you think helped you to survive?
G-d, luck, Righteous Gentiles, and the fact that I was in hiding together with my sister and brother-in-law.
What message would you like to leave for future generations?
I always tell my daughter and grandchildren about my war experiences to make sure they know what we went through so it should never happen again.
Interview date:
To learn more about this survivor, please visit:
The Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive, University of Michigan

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