Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Psychiatry Student in Holland Who Saved Jews from the Nazis Tina Strobos | May 19, 1920 - Feb. 27, 2012

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Psychiatry Student in Holland Who Saved Jews from the Nazis Tina Strobos | May 19, 1920 - Feb. 27, 2012

Article excerpt

Tina Strobos, a psychiatry student who joined the Dutch underground during World War II and helped save the lives of more than 100 Jews by giving them refuge on the upper floor of her Amsterdam rowhouse, died Feb. 27 at her home in Rye, N.Y.

She was 91 and had metastatic cancer, said her son Jur Strobos.

In 1989, the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem recognized Dr. Strobos and her late mother, Marie Schotte, as "righteous among the nations" -- people who, without seeking personal reward, risked their lives, freedom and safety to save persecuted Jews during World War II.

To save one person "was an extraordinary feat," Donna Cohen, executive director of the Holocaust and Human Rights Education Center in White Plains, N.Y., said in an interview. Dr. Strobos, who saved dozens, was "the ultimate rescuer."

Her story has been recounted in numerous volumes of Holocaust history. About 80 percent of the 140,000 Jewish residents of Holland during the Nazi occupation died in the Holocaust, according to Yad Vashem.

Among them was Anne Frank, the young German-born diarist who hid with her family in another Amsterdam attic just blocks away from Dr. Strobos' home. The Franks were betrayed by an informant and deported to concentration camps, where everyone in the family except Anne's father died.

Dr. Strobos was just shy of her 20th birthday when Nazi Germany invaded the Netherlands in May 1940. When she and her university classmates refused to sign an oath of loyalty to Adolf Hitler, the medical school was shut down and many students, including Dr. Strobos, joined the underground resistance movement.

In the beginning, she focused her efforts on arming and equipping the resistance fighters. She ran guns, explosives and radios, sometimes hiding them in her bicycle basket during journeys of 50 miles.

But as armed resistance became increasingly dangerous, she turned her efforts to helping her Jewish friends and, later, others seeking a way out of the country. One of the Jews she saved was her then- fiance, Abraham Pais, who became a celebrated physicist and biographer of Albert Einstein. …

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