Tina Strobos was twenty years old and in medical school in Amsterdam when the Nazi’s invaded Holland in May of 1940. Tina Strobos and her mother, Marie Schotte, offered their support to hide Jews and other “undesirables” from the Nazis. Her grandmother, Maria Abrahams, who had helped individuals during World War I, offered her house as well. Tina Strobos endangered herself and her family to protect and aid Jews being persecuted by the Nazis.
Tina Strobos and her family hid Henri Polak, a Jewish socialist and trade union leader. She also aided Johannes Brouwer, Siegfried and Suze Pekel, Tirtsah Van Amerongen, Martin Monnickendam, and others. In her home, a carpenter from the underground built a compartment in the attic big enough for two or three people to hide in. The home also had an alarm bell to warn those above if the home was raided. Besides helping those in her home, she aided those in hiding by transporting people to safe hiding places, and visited many of them regularly by bicycle to provide them with food, books, radios, weapons, and other things they needed to survive in hiding.
As the Nazi occupation continued, resistance groups became more organized. Tina joined a group called Landelyke Organizatie, or Country Organization. This group participated in non-violent resistance. Tina continued to hide people who the organization was helping and brought those in hiding food stamps. Her home became more of a transit station, only temporary shelter until a more secure hiding place was found. Her involvement with this group, also led her to falsifying passports. Tina would steal passports from funerals and other large functions. She would then soak off the original owner’s photo and replace them with a new photo. These passports were used by Jews so they could travel without trouble. By this time, all Jews had a “J” on their passport, and if caught could be arrested. Tina Strobos continued to help Jews hidings from the Nazis through the end of the occupation in 1945. While, not all who she hid survived, many did.
Berger, Joseph. “A Believer in Heroism, to Jews’ Lasting Gratitude,” The New York Times, October 16, 2009. Accessed October 28, 2011 http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/17/nyregion/17metjournal.html.
Bloemgarten, Salvador. Henri Polack: A Jew and A Dutchman. Jerusalem: Institute for Research on Dutch Jewry, 1984.
“Holocaust Personal Stories: Aid and Escape, Tina Strobes,” United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, accessed October 24, 2011, http://www.ushmm.org/museum/exhibit/online/phistories/phi_rescue_individuals1_uu.htm
Land-Weber, Ellen. To Save a Life: Stories of Holocaust Rescue. University of Illinois Press, 2006.
Additional Links for More Information:
1992 Audio and Transcript of Interview: http://www.ushmm.org/museum/exhibit/online/phistories/viewmedia/phi_fset.php?MediaId=2961
Dutch Resistance Museum: www.verzetsmuseum.org.
General Holocaust Information: http://www.ushmm.org/
Holocaust Survivors: http://www.holocaustsurvivors.org/
Re-edited by: Denise Carlin