BiographyLouise 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.
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 and their first hiding addresses. At her first address, Sorensen used the false name Loes van Boven. She was separated from her parents and sister and moved from home to home around the Netherlands. Sorensen had 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 her home town in January 1959. Shortly thereafter, she moved to British Columbia with her husband, a Danish immigrant who already resided there. They had two sons and three grandsons. Sorensen has been an outreach speaker for the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre since 1985 and was a VHEC board member for ten years. Additionally, 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. Sorensen is a founding member of the VHEC’s child survivor group and a member of the board of the World Federation of Child Survivors of the Holocaust.