Spots of Light - Women in the Holocaust

Partisans and Underground

Mirjam Waterman

Even baby carriages became rescue vehicles during the Holocaust.

Mirjam Waterman, born in 1916, and Menachem Pinkhof were active in the Dutch resistance, rescuing children. Mirjam’s assignment was to gather infants whose parents were marked for deportation or had already been deported to Westerbork, and to deliver them to the train station in Amsterdam.

Mirjam would arrive at the station with a baby carriage and wait for the liaison who in turn delivered the children into hiding with families and in institutions. Mirjam was not privy to the babies’ destination or the identity of the woman who claimed them. The woman’s name was Hetty Voute; she was apprehended and sent to Ravensbrück. Mirjam was also caught and deported to Bergen-Belsen. After liberation, Mirjam was active in securing the children’s return to Jewish authorities.

Mirjam immigrated to the Land of Israel in 1946. Hetty Voute was named Righteous among the Nations for her deeds; she died in 1999.

Many children were hidden in the institution. One of the youngsters was Kitty Frank. On one of my visits to this children’s facility, Kitty led me to a closed room and said, “I have another job here–to take care of two babies who’ve just arrived.” When she showed them to me, I realized that they were the brother and sister I had passed on at the train station just a few days earlier.

Mirjam (Waterman) Pinkhof