Louise Stein Sorensen fonds
Fonds / Archival Collection
Title NoteTitle based on provenance of fonds.
Extent & Medium5 documents
Administrative/Biographical HistoryLouise Stein Sorensen was born in Rotterdam on February 12, 1929 to Isidor Stein and Marianne (Jeanne) van Dam. Her sister, Eleonore, was born in 1923. Sorensen’s immediate family moved from Rotterdam to Amsterdam in 1936. In late 1940 and early 1941, citizens of the Netherlands over the age of fifteen had to declare their Jewish ancestry and receive and carry identity cards issued by the occupation government. If a person had more than two Jewish grandparents they would receive a black J on their identity card.
Sorensen’s father ran a fur coat factory; the business was appropriated in 1941. In June 1942, Sorensen’s family home and all its contents were confiscated by the Nazis. After their home was expropriated, the family was moved to Amsterdam and placed in what would become the Jewish ghetto. They were temporarily protected by an exemption list, which was cancelled in January, 1943. After their exemption was cancelled the family went into hiding, with help from a non-Jewish relative in Hilversum who was able to help them attain forged identity cards. Sorensen used the false name “Loes van Boven,” was separated from her parents and sister, and moved from home to home around the Netherlands with help from members of the resistance.
Sorensen and her parents were reunited in the fall of 1943, and hidden by a farmworker and his wife in Apeldoorn, Netherlands. They stayed inside in an attic every day until mid-April 1945 when Canadian soldiers liberated the area. While Sorensen’s parents and sister survived, they later found out through the Red Cross that nearly all of their extended family had been murdered, in Sobibor, Auschwitz and in Minsk and Transylvania.
Louise Stein Sorensen graduated from the University of Amsterdam with a degree in social psychology in 1956. She married Eigil (Ike) Kaergaard Sorensen in January, 1959, and moved to British Columbia to join her husband. They had two sons and three grandsons. Sorensen has been an outreach speaker for the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre since 1985, and a VHEC board member for ten years. She was a member of the Gesher Project, a group of survivors and children of survivors who met regularly to create painting, writing and discussion about the Holocaust. She is a founding member of the VHEC’s child survivor group and was a member of the board of the World Federation of Child Survivors of the Holocaust.
Scope & ContentFonds consists of war-time records belonging to Sorensen’s mother and great aunt, from their time spent in hiding in the Netherlands. These include official and forged identity cards and ration cards. Fonds also includes a 1947 second edition copy of Het Achterhuis, the diary of Anne Frank that belonged to Sorensen’s mother, Marianne (Jeanne).
Archival HistoryAccessions 1999.002; 2004.001; 2014.013
Immediate Source of Acquisition or TransferRecords were in the custody of Louise Sorensen prior to their donation to the VHEC in 1999, 2004 and 2014.
AccrualsNo further accruals are expected.
System of ArrangementRecords are arranged in chronological order. Collection has been described to the item level. Item-level descriptions based on legacy FileMaker Pro database records.
RightsMaterials available for research and education purposes only. Permission to publish, copy or otherwise use these materials must be obtained from the VHEC.
Rules or ConventionsISAD(G) informed by RAD
Date of DescriptionArranged in December 2017 by Shyla Seller. Updated in May 2019.