Anneke Bloomfield was born on April 19th, 1935, in The Hague, The Netherlands. Her father worked for Shell Oil Company, while her mother was a retired schoolteacher. Anneke had three brothers and a sister, and they lived in a Jewish neighborhood until Anneke’s father decided that they should move to a townhouse, as tensions towards Jews started to increase. They also started attending a new church and a Christian school, leading those around them to believe they were Christian.
Immediately after Anneke’s fifth birthday, the war began. For the first few years, things didn’t seem very different for Anneke, until it was decided that her family should split up for safety. Anneke was sent south to hide, towards Belgium. When it became riskier to hide children, Anneke was sent back home. Again, Anneke was sent away, this time to a farm up north, where she stayed with a family that took good care of her. The food was very different from what Anneke was used to, so she became very ill and once again, she returned home.
The third time Anneke was sent away, she went north again with a bus full of other children. The bus was unfortunately mistaken as a German bus and was fired at, so Anneke ran to a nearby house to wait until it was safe again. By the time she make it back to the bus, there were only 7 children left and they had to continue their journey. By the time Anneke arrived at the place she would be staying, she had lice and was very hungry, so she would go to the soup kitchen to get food in the mornings. There was no way for her to contact anyone, so she continued to live in fear and hunger.
Finally, in the spring of 1945, Anneke was told to go to a truck that would take her home, and she was surprised and relieved to find her younger brother there. Once Anneke arrived home, she looked for all of her toys but couldn’t find them. She was then told that while she was away, her baby sister had been born and they had also found her a warm, safe place to stay, but they had demanded all of the toys. Through all of Anneke’s stays in different places, she was not told what was going on around her because the risk of telling children was too large, in case they were captured and gave away information.
After the war, Anneke’s oldest brother wanted to get away from everything that had involved the war, so he moved to Alberta, Canada. The day that Anneke turned 20, she went to look for her brother and was able to find him, then deciding to stay in Canada herself. Her father urged her to return home, but Anneke knew she wanted to stay in America. She got married and moved to Phoenix, Arizona with her husband and her son. 19 years later, Anneke moved to North Hollywood, California, eventually retiring to Portland, Oregon.