Oral History

Tina Strobos describes the hiding place and alarm system in her house

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.


When we started taking in people we realized that they had to get away if the Gestapo came. So we had a first floor on which electrical button could open the door and so you could look through a wall window to the door downstairs on the first floor and see who [was] coming in. Then we had a alarm that we rang for the third floor so the people on the third floor could creep out the window in the gutter and get lost and go to the attic on the back side of the house, of the school that was connected with us. There were two, a front, part of it was a school, they had this wing, we had this wing, and then in the back was the school behind the courtyard, and there were, there was an attic that we had access to. So they could, you could go in hiding there. And that we had as escape route. And we rehearsed that, to get out of the window and out in there quietly, very fast. So when time, time came and a man called and he said, "I'm a carpenter from the underground." And he had tools with him, and he looked so honest and reliable, we trusted him. My mother said, "Do you know this man?" I said, "No, but let him make a hiding place." And he made such a good hiding place that when I go back to that house it's very hard to find. It doesn't hold too many people, though, two or three, crammed sitting together.


  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
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