Ted Musaph - Andriesse

Ted in 1943 Photograph: Joods Historisch Museum, Amsterdam (private collection).
  • Print

Rosetta Cato Andriesse (‘Ted’) daughter of Herman Andriesse and Betje van Spiegel was born on 17 August 1927 in Utrecht. Ted grew up in Deventer. Just before the German invasion she moved with her parents, two brothers and sister to Utrecht.

Eyewitness account: Ted Musaph-Andriesse, Bergen-Belsen

In 2005 the Nationaal Comité 4 en 5 mei (Committee established to commemorate the end of WW2 and celebrate the liberation) started a project known as ‘Talking images – Eyewitness accounts and War monuments’ where personal stories and local history about the war come together. More than one hundred stories have already been recorded and more than thirty portraits filmed.

To Oorlogsmonumenten.nl

List of sources

A large number of sources were used for Anne Frank’s Amsterdam.

To the list of sources

There, from 1941, they are affected by the regulations that the Germans implement against Jews in the Netherlands. All Jews from the county must relocate to Amsterdam; this includes Ted’s family too.

She doesn’t know anyone in Amsterdam; she’s sixteen years old and doesn’t go to school anymore.

‘At least in Westerbork I knew someone’

Jews are being picked up and deported and in June 1943 the Germans pick up her parents, brother and sister. Ted hears this happen from her hiding place under the hall in their home. After many heated discussions with her parents they eventually give her permission to go into hiding. Without any money or forged papers Ted starts to look for a safe hiding place. She goes first to Utrecht where she knows friends of her parents. From here she is taken to a hiding place in the Veluwe area but is unable to stay because there are too many people hiding there. Back in Utrecht again she goes into hiding with a Jewish couple but after only one day is betrayed and taken along with the couple to the Hollandsche Schouwburg in Amsterdam.

But Ted is lucky. Helped by a resistance group she manages to escape to the crèche on the other side of the road. Now she’s free, but where can she go?

Nobody else is aware of the situation, she hasn’t got any money or identity papers and she’s afraid, afraid of what will happen if she’s picked up again and also of the danger this could be to others. She doesn’t know what to do so in desperation she gets on a train to Westerbork to rejoin her parents; ‘At least I knew someone there.’

Bergen-Belsen

In January 1944 she is deported to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp with her family. Bergen-Belsen isn’t an extermination camp and the chances of survival appear to be better, but from the end of 1944 the situation in this camp is getting worse. Hundreds of people are dying daily from starvation, disease, filthy conditions and exhaustion. Ted’s father dies too. She is desperate: ‘Nobody else in the world knows that I’m here and that I can’t go on anymore.’

In April 1945, just before the camp is liberated, a train full of two thousand Jewish prisoners is sent, without any clear destination, towards eastern Europe. Ted is on the train too. During a journey which lasts ten days hundreds of people die. The train eventually stops in Tröbitz, where Ted, together with her mother, brother and sister are liberated by the Russians on 23 April 1945. In June 1945 she arrives back in the Netherlands. Her older brother, who was in the resistance was arrested in France and sent to Camp Dachau, also returns. Ted is seriously ill with tuberculosis and remains in hospital for four years.

Commitment to the Jewish community

After the war Ted studies Semitic languages and becomes a Hebrew teacher and also a translator for the law courts. She marries psychiatrist Professor Herman Musaph in 1958. For a long time she was a member of the board of the Dutch Zionist Federation whose main aim was the establishment of their own Jewish state until the 1960’s when she decided to commit herself to the Jewish community in the Netherlands. She was chair of the board of the Jewish Historical Museum and is now honorary chair. She is also vice chair of the Anne Frank House and the “Nationaal Comité 4 en 5 mei”. She is still involved in an advisory capacity for these organisations.