Oral History Interview with Mirjam Pinkhof

Mirjam Pinkhof, nee Waterman, was born May 12, 1916 in Loodsdrecht, Holland. Her father, an idealistic socialist, left Amsterdam, where he worked in the diamond trade, to found an agricultural training center on a farm in Loodsdrecht in the 1920’s. Her mother once belonged to an agricultural commune named “Walden”. Mirjam attended the modernist school at Bilthoven, where one of her teachers was Joop Westerweel, who became a Christian rescuer of Jews. Mirjam started a private school on her parents’ farm in 1940. Until 1943, she worked with Jews and non-Jews in the resistance movement led by Westerweel, Joachim Simon (Schuschu) and Menachem Pinkhof whom she married in 1945. They sent youths from Zionist training centers across Europe to Palestine. (See Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, p. 1648). In 1943, her parents were freed from Westerbork through her bribe of diamonds. In 1944, she was imprisoned at Westerbork and Bergen-Belsen. She describes the deprivation in the camps and on the evacuation train, where she was kept for two weeks in the spring of 1945. Russians liberated the train in June, 1945 at Troebity, near Leipzig. She was in Displaced persons camps in Luxembourg and Eindhoven. Her husband worked with Aliyah Bet and a Jewish Brigade group to send illegal immigrants to Palestine. The Pinkhof family obtained legal British certificates for entry and settled in Haifa in 1946.

Date: 07/08/1989
Interviewer: Sylvia Brockmon
Interviewee: Mirjam Pinkhof
Language: English
Subject: Holocaust survivors.
Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Personal narratives.
Jewish women in the Holocaust.
Refugee camps--Luxembourg.
Refugee camps--Netherlands--Eindhoven.
Women concentration camp inmates.
World War, 1939-1945--Deportations from Netherlands.
World War, 1939-1945--Jews--Rescue--Netherlands.
World War, 1939-1945--Underground movements--Netherlands.
World War, 1939-1945--Underground movements--Personal narratives.
Women--Personal narratives.
Location: Loosdrecht, Netherlands
Westerbork concentration camp
Eindhoven displaced persons camp
Bergen-Belsen concentration camp
Mersch, Luxembourg
Permalink: https://hoha.digitalcollections.gratzcollege.edu/item/oral-history-interview-with-mirjam-pinkhof/