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Shivah Stars

Marc Tracy
March 01, 2012
Tina Strobos.(Chester Higgins, Jr./NYT)
Tina Strobos.(Chester Higgins, Jr./NYT)

Each week, we select the most interesting Jewish obituary. Slight exception being made today for Tina Strobos, who died Monday at 91. She was 20 in 1940 when the Nazis occupied her hometown of Amsterdam, and over the following five years, she and her mother hid Jews, Communists, and other undesirables—though never more than a handful at a time—in a secret compartment in the attic. (A few blocks away, the van Pelses and the Franks were similarly sequestered, until they weren’t.) A family psychiatrist, Yad Vashem listed her as one of the Righteous Among the Nations. “It’s the right thing to do,” she had explained. “Your conscience tells you to do it. I believe in heroism, and when you’re young you want to do dangerous things.”

Marc Tracy is a staff writer at The New Republic, and was previously a staff writer at Tablet. He tweets @marcatracy.