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Strobos, WWII Rescuer, Rye Psychiatrist, Dies

RYE, N.Y. - Tina Strobos, a Rye psychiatrist who sheltered more than 100 Jews in Amsterdam during World War II, died Feb. 27 at The Osborn in Rye. She was 91.

Born May 19, 1920 in Amsterdam, Strobos was the daughter of Schotte and Alphonse Butcher, Dutch socialist atheists who heralded their daughter's acts of bravery with their own, taking in refugees before both world wars. Strobos, along with her mother, was honored at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in 1989 as well as the Holocaust & Human Rights Education Center in White Plains.

As a young medical student, Strobos and her peers were unable to attend school due to their refusal to sign a Nazi oath of loyalty. As she entered her 20s, Strobos joined the underground resistance movement in Amsterdam, first running explosives to fighters and then helping shelter and sneak refugees out of the country.

Interrogated nine times by the Gestapo, she braved falsifying documents, arranging with pickpockets to steal identification cards from travelers and even housing four to five Jews, Communists and other refugees in a disguised gable in her attic.

“It’s the right thing to do,” she said in an interview with The New York Times in 2009, when asked why she'd risked her life. “Your conscience tells you to do it. I believe in heroism, and when you’re young you want to do dangerous things.”

After the war, Strobos received her medical degree from the University of Amsterdam in 1946 and studied psychiatry in London. She moved to New York in 1951 with her first husband, Robert Strobos, and completed her residency in psychiatry and neurology at Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla.

Following the end of her first marriage, Strobos married Walter Chudson, an economist who predeceased her in 2002. Practicing child psychiatry in Larchmont for many years, Strobos compared speaking out about her experiences during World War II to therapy for herself.

Surviving are her sons Jur and Semon, her daughter Carolyn Strobos, her stepchildren Lucy Chudson and Paul Chudson, seven grandchildren and two step-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at The Osborne Retirement Community in Rye.

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