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Tonie Frederika Kaufmann Soep

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Tonie's parents came to the Netherlands from Germany in the 1880s, and their six children were born in Amsterdam. As a child, Tonie studied the piano, and she excelled in French. When she married Abraham Soep, a diamond manufacturer, Tonie adopted her husband's observant Jewish practices. Their three children were born in 1919, 1923, and 1924.

1933-39: Tonie's husband served for many years as the president of the Amsterdam Jewish community. The Soeps had a large and comfortable home. Tonie and Abraham often traveled abroad together, and each summer the family rented a home at the seashore in Zandvoort. The Soeps enjoyed spending their weekends in the company of their many relatives.

1940-44: The Germans occupied the Netherlands in 1940. One year later, Abraham was appointed to the Nazi-imposed Dutch Jewish council. The Soeps were deported in 1943 and eventually sent to the Bergen-Belsen camp, where the Germans wanted to use Abraham's expertise to help set up a diamond factory. When the "diamond plan" collapsed, the diamond workers were deported to death camps, with the exception of the Soeps and one other family who were kept alive should the Germans again need their business connections.

Tonie was liberated from the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in April 1945.

 

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