Oral History

Tina Strobos describes her courier duties for the underground in the Netherlands

Tina was a medical student when the Germans invaded the Netherlands in May 1940. She and members of her sorority joined the underground, and she hid Jews in her house from the beginning of the war. Tina found hiding places for Jewish children, forged passports, and served as a courier for the underground.


For instance, I would get a call, "Could you pick up such-and-such a person at such-and-such an address and keep that person till we have his, uh, further, a further address for him?" This was mostly in code we said, said all those things. So I would go there and pick up, let's say, a little three-year-old. And then, um, they would call me and say, "Would you do an errand for us to, uh, Enkhuizen or, uh, Hoorn?" And I knew what that was, some contraband had to be transported, like a radio sender for, uh, contact with England. Of course that was very highly punishable. And so, and they did have these little check, you know, these little, uh, how you call it? Little wooden houses for soldiers on the roads everywhere--checkpoints, and they would, uh, check you and if you had food they would take it and keep it. Uh, sometimes they would take your bike, they could do that, they would take your bike and and you had to walk home, wherever you were. And if you had a radio sender, well that was, you would be shot. So I would bring things like that. We also hid weapons that were stolen from the Wehrmacht [German armed forces]. I would get a call if we would keep stuff for a couple of days, usually it was longer than a couple of days. And then, uh, if you were one minute after eight on the street they would arrest you and you would go to jail. And they would always pick people from the jails to be shot if there was any, uh, if any soldier was killed, or any railroad blown up, whatever subversive activity, they would take 100 people and shoot them. Innocent people, uh, people in the camp or in the jail. Innocent in the sense that they were one minute late after the curfew. So, but if you had to bring people to the country it was very hard to get back before the curfew was over. So I sometimes had to travel, uh, at night. And then when it was eight o'clock, uh, you just slinked from doorway to doorway in the dark to find shelter yourself, to get back in time.


  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
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