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Miriam P. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3238)

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3238

Videotape testimony of Miriam P., who was born in Loosdrecht, Holland, the oldest of four children. She recounts attending school in Hilversum; graduation in 1936; living in England and Paris, each for a year, to improve her language skills; one brother's emigration to Canada in 1938; teaching school in Bilthoven; German invasion in 1940; opening a Jewish school in her parents' home; assistance from a nearby hachsharah, which included her future husband; organizing an underground group to obtain false papers and hide children; her family's deportation to Westerbork in 1943; an underground meeting in Rotterdam to organize sending children to Switzerland with her husband's brother (they were captured and deported); the capture of two of their group (one committed suicide); bribing officials with diamonds her father had hidden to obtain her family's release; arranging their hiding; a futile attempt to save her in-laws from deportation from Amsterdam (they did not survive); arrest with her husband in 1944; incarceration in Scheveningen, ś-Hertogenbosch, and Westerbork; transfer to Bergen-Belsen after a week; meeting relatives there; slave labor in the shoe and other kommandos; starvation; receiving packages from her mother; assisting older prisoners; liberation from an evacuation train by Soviet troops; returning home with her husband via Luxembourg, Antwerp, and Eindhoven; reunion with her family; locating Jewish children she had hidden; organizing illegal emigration to Palestine; her son's birth; their legal emigration in 1946; the births of two more children; and her husband's death at a young age. Ms. P.'s children join her. She discusses the impact of their experiences on her and her husband, and the importance of luck to her survival. She shows photographs and reads a poem.

Author/Creator
P., Miriam.
Published
Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1991
Interview Date
February 26, 1991.
Language
Hebrew
Copies
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Miriam P. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3238). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.