Miriam's Blog

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

by Miriam Keesing

Saturday morning I want to visit the Metropolitan Museum before my interview with George Tscherny, but they are unwilling to guard all my electronic equipment in the cloakroom, so I end up walking around on the upper East side. At noon I meet George and his wife Sonia. After a very nice lunch I interview George.  He is one of a group of 12 refugee children that managed to leave the Netherlands in the spring of 1941, and reach the US after a hold up in Berlin, where they were waiting for their Spanish and Portuguese transit visa. Both of us have questions about this part. I fear that the answers are to be found in Germany, if anywhere.

Unfortunately my video camera tells me at the start of the interview that its memory is full, so that evening I spend a lot of time on it.

Of course on a Saturday night the Hudson hotel is even worse: there’s a lot of noise in the hall, the whole night.

Sunday morning I pick up another rental car and drive back to New Jersey to interview Arno Rosenfeld, who has just come back from a trip to Switzerland. Arno still speaks very good Dutch, so we do the interview in Dutch. Arno’s brother did not survive, and it is strange to be able to tell Arno where his brother lived during the early war years. After a nice lunch I ask my GPS to take me to Hartford, Connecticut, which she does, but she takes me across the George Washington Bridge, and there’s a lot of traffic! It takes me almost 4 hours to get to Hartford, where my cousin Shirley lives. I take a 36 hour holiday, and enjoy the company of my family. And the fabulous guestroom.

Tuesday I drive to Leslie Gross Diamond in Albany, NY. Leslie and I have become friends over the past 3 years, so it is extra special to meet her. I also get to meet her two granddaughters. Even though we have corresponded often over the years I still hear many new things when I interview Leslie, who was also one of the children that Mrs. Wijsmuller put on the Bodegraven on May 14th, 1940.

At night we have a nice Japanese meal.

Wednesday I drive the long way to Newton, MA, just outside Boston. The hotel is right above the highway, but the room is nice. No interview today!