Drawing of a girl

“The worst thing for me was to have to wear the yellow star, and to be excluded from school.”

Mirjam Lapid-Andriesse, 2022

Resisting persecution

Mirjam Lapid-Andriesse was seven years old when the Germans occupied the Netherlands, in May 1940. Her eldest brother Joop went underground. As a Jew, Mirjam was excluded from school. In April 1943, the family had to move into the Amsterdam ghetto. In June 1943, they were detained in Westerbork transit camp. Mirjam’s father was able to organize visas for Palestine yet before they could leave, the family was deported to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp at the beginning of February 1944. Mirjam’s father died of starvation and exhaustion on February 24, 1945, the birthday of her mother. All the other family members survived.

Family photo with the parents, Herman and Betje Andriesse, 1939
Mirjam is the youngest of four siblings. In the photo are her sister Rosette "Tett" (born in 1927), their father Herman, her younger brother Bram (1926) (standing), Mirjam (1933), their mother Betje, and her older brother Joseph "Joop" (1924 – 1981).
Herman Andriesse as an officer in the Dutch army, 1940
Before the war, Mirjam’s father Herman served in the Dutch army and worked as representative of a shoe factory. He refused to go into hiding because he didn’t want to endanger anyone else.

"I always celebrate my birthday twice: on April 17, the day of my birth, and on April 23, the day of my liberation and rebirth. I will soon be 89 and 77 years old."
Mirjam Lapid-Andriesse, 2022

"My life in the kibbutz and my big family, that is the realization of my Zionist dream."

Mirjam Lapid-Andriesse, 2022

Mirjam Lapid-Andriesse, in April 1944 twelve years old

Mirjam was born in April 1933 in the Dutch city of Deventer. Her parents were Zionists and wanted to emigrate to Palestine. After their liberation, Mirjam and her siblings also wanted to move there. In 1953 she settled in Israel and lived in a kibbutz. There Mirjam started a family with her husband Aki. Their five children all pursued a career in the Israeli army. When her eldest son Ran, a pilot in the army, was to fly the German federal chancellor Helmut Kohl during his first visit to Israel, he asked Mirjam for consent.

Mirjam Lapid-Andriesse, 1942
Mirjam with a family photo from 2018.
Her husband Aki died in 2021, Kibbutz Tzora, 2022

Mirjam Lapid talks about tShe remembrance work in Tröbitz | Video 1:26 min

"I really hope that I haven’t passed on my nightmares to the next generation."

Mirjam Lapid-Andriesse, 2022

Drawing of a woman

Dealing with memories

After the war, the brothers Joop and Bram move to Palestine as early as 1946, Mirjam follows to Israel in 1953. Their sister Tett stayed in the Netherlands. Due to a lung disease incurred at the time of the persecution, she could not tolerate the climate in Israel. In Kibbutz Tzora, 20 kilometers from Jerusalem, Mirjam began working as a kindergarten teacher and then built up the administrative office. She did not occupy herself with the "Lost Transport" for a long time. It was only when the grandchildren began asking her that Mirjam began to talk about it. As she grew older, the memories and thoughts of the past became more important to her. She also took up contact with Tröbitz.

Mirjam Lapid in Amsterdam, 1953
An elderly couple behind a tombstone
Mirjam and her husband Aki at the Bergen-Belsen Memorial, 2007
Mirjam had the memorial stone for her father placed there in 2007.