On This Day … 19 May

People (Births)

  • 1920 – Tina Strobos, Dutch psychiatrist known for rescuing Jews during World War II (d. 2012).

People (Deaths)

  • 1987 – James Tiptree, Jr., American psychologist and author (b. 1915).

Tina Strobos

Tina Strobos, née Tineke Buchter (19 May 1920 to 27 February 2012), was a Dutch physician and psychiatrist from Amsterdam, known for her resistance work during World War II. While a young medical student, she worked with her mother and grandmother to rescue more than 100 Jewish refugees as part of the Dutch resistance during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. Strobos provided her house as a hiding place for Jews on the run, using a secret attic compartment and warning bell system to keep them safe from sudden police raids. In addition, Strobos smuggled guns and radios for the resistance and forged passports to help refugees escape the country. Despite being arrested and interrogated nine times by the Gestapo, she never betrayed the whereabouts of a Jew.

After the war, Strobos completed her medical degree and became a psychiatrist. She studied under Anna Freud in England. Strobos later emigrated to the United States to study psychiatry under a Fulbright scholarship, and she subsequently settled in New York. She married twice and had three children. Strobos built a career as a family psychiatrist, receiving the Elizabeth Blackwell Medal in 1998 for her medical work, and finally retired from active practice in 2009.

In 1989, Strobos was honoured as Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem for her rescue work. In 2009, she was recognised for her efforts by the Holocaust and Human Rights Education Centre of New York City.

James Tiptree Jr

Alice Bradley Sheldon (born Alice Hastings Bradley; 24 August 1915 to 19 May 1987) was an American science fiction author better known as James Tiptree Jr., a pen name she used from 1967 to her death. It was not publicly known until 1977 that James Tiptree Jr. was a woman. From 1974 to 1977 she also used the pen name Raccoona Sheldon. Sheldon was inducted by the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2012.

She studied for her bachelor of arts degree at American University (1957-1959), going on to achieve a doctorate at George Washington University in Experimental Psychology in 1967. She wrote her doctoral dissertation on the responses of animals to novel stimuli in differing environments. During this time, she wrote and submitted a few science fiction stories under the name James Tiptree Jr., in order to protect her academic reputation.

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