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Brief biography of Mietje Walg

portretfoto Mietje Walg

Mietje Walg, also known as Mie, lived a modest and fairly withdrawn life. There is not much known about her, her life seems to have been dominated by the care of her family. Nevertheless, it is possible to make a reasonable reconstruction of her life on the basis of archive documents.

Ouderkerk and Lekkerkerk

Mietje was born in Ouderkerk aan den IJssel, on 3 March 1875 at half past eight in the evening. In the small house behind the Dorpsstraat her twin sister Hester had been born a few hours earlier.
Together with Hester and her 5 other brothers and sisters she grew up in Lekkerkerk, a small village about 5 kilometres from her native village.

Around 1880, Lekkerkerk had about 50 Jewish inhabitants, who together formed a close-knit community. They had their own synagogue and in 1886, an Israeli cemetery was established. But in the years that followed, the number of "Lekkerkse Jews" gradually decreased due to the continuous migration from the countryside to the big cities.

Rotterdam

In April 1888, the Walg family also left for Rotterdam. They lived at various addresses in the city, before finally moving to the building in Weste Wagenstraat no. 69 in 1901. It must have been a busy place, because apart from Mietje's 6 brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews also regularly stayed, temporarily, in the house.

Mietje stayed in the parental home for a long time. Only around 1912, when Mietje is (almost) 37, she met her future husband Bernard Salomon van Straten. On 4 December of the same year they married in Rotterdam. Immediately after the marriage she left the warm nest on the Westewagenstraat and moved to Herwijnen, the residence of her husband Bernard.

Herwijnen

Exactly 10 months after the marriage their first and only child was born. A boy named Manuel.
From the birth of Manuel, I couldn't find any record relating Mietje Walg. Neither in documents, nor in newspaper articles. However, she can be seen in the wedding photo of her brother-in-law Moses van Straten and Jeanette van Blijdenstijn. Together with her husband Bernard, her father Eduard and perhaps other immediate (and still unknown) relatives.

Mietje (fortunately) did not experience the horrors of the war. On 13 December 1937 she died at the age of 62. A few days later she was buried at the Jewish part of the cemetery in Herwijnen.

Group photo at the wedding of Moses van Straten and Jeanette van Blijdestijn in 1921. Mietje is 2nd from right, Bernard 7th from right and Eduard Walg 3rd from left. Manuel, son of Mietje and Bernard is the boy with the paper hat on his head. Source: Jewish Historical Museum.

*This version of the Biography is of temporary nature. As more data is found, this biography will be rewritten.

Source References

Rotterdam City Archive
Civil registry 1880-1940
Marriage certificate Mietje Walg and Bernard Solomon van Straten

Book
Als je in Vught bent, probeer dan eens te schrijven… – Aart Vos
ISBN 978-90-70545-39-0

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