In a Brown Bag Lecture on Tuesday, October 22, Sonja DuBois will discuss her book Finding Schifrah: The Journey of a Dutch Holocaust Child Survivor, her true story of being a hidden child of the Holocaust. Born 1940 in Rotterdam, Clara van Thijn was separated from her parents on July 29, 1942, when they reported for the first Jewish transport headed for Auschwitz and were murdered shortly after their arrival. Entrusted to a family friend, artist Dolf Henkes, and rescued by a Dutch Christian couple, she spent the postwar years in Schiedam as Sonja, the foster child of Willem and Elisabeth van der Kaden. When Sonja was 12, the family emigrated to the U.S. and she told the truth about her identity, however, she was forbidden to discuss it.
Sonja now lives in Knoxville and frequently shares her tragic, yet inspirational story with classrooms and groups across the state. She was featured in the Tennessee Holocaust Commission’s Living On exhibit and has donated artifacts to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, which has a recorded interview of her life. A book singing will follow the lecture.
The lecture is presented by the East Tennessee Historical Society and sponsored by the Gentry Griffey Funeral Chapel. The lecture and book signing are free and open to the public and will begin at noon, Tuesday, October 22, at the East Tennessee History Center, 601 S. Gay Street, Knoxville. Guests are invited to bring a "Brown Bag" lunch and enjoy the lecture. Soft drinks are available. For more information on the lecture, exhibitions, or museum hours, call 865-215-8824 or visit the website at www.EastTNHistory.org.