Polak, Catharina (Ina) Soep, 91, of Eastchester, New York, passed away peacefully on May 14, 2014. Devoted wife of Jack for 68 years, loving mother of Fred (Carrie), Tony (Amy), and Margrit (Harvey), grandmother to Josh (Sarah), Ann (Jordan), Jamie (Abbie), Emily and Sofia, great grandmother of seven. Born in Amsterdam, The Netherlands on January 3, 1923 to Abraham and Toni, Holocaust survivor of transit camp Westerbork, where she met her beloved husband Jack, and concentration camp Bergen Belsen. Their love story is memorialized in the book and award winning documentary Steal a Pencil For Me. Avid New York Times reader, theatre and movie goer, Ina led a vibrant and fulfilling life till the end. She will be remembered for her extraordinary beauty and her loving spirit. She called her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren 'her best revenge against The Holocaust'. Services, Friday, May 16, 2014 at Congregation Shaarei Tikvah in Scarsdale at 11:30 am. Donations should be made to Anne Frank Center USA.
- Funeral Service Friday, May 16, 2014
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April 27, 2015
I just finished watching "Steal a Pencil for Me". What an amazing story of two people who were meant to be together. Love is never ending.
January 17, 2015
My heartfelt condolences to Mr. Polak and his family. I just watched the documentary this evening and it moved me in many ways; thank you for sharing your life in such a beautiful way.
January 15, 2015
Most, amazing touching, deepest love story. Thank you for sharing your amazing love story and life, with tears of joy and sadness. May you rest in peace beautiful lady.
January 12, 2015
Love Is Eternal!
December 29, 2014
My sincere condolences. Last evening, we watched the documentary "Steal a Pencil for Me". The love between Ina and Jack moved us so profoundly. We will continue to live our lives accordingy to Jack's six rules and never forget the tragedies of the Holocaust. God bless her soul! Eternal memory! Tanya Rak (Victoria, BC Canada)
Dominique van der Graaf
December 29, 2014
My condolences on the lose of your amazing mother. Both my parents are Dutch. My mother was born in Eindoven & my father was born in Rotterdam. They both lived through the war but not being Jewish they did not suffer like your parents. I just saw the movie "Can I Steal a Pencil" & it brought me closer to my parent's, & my heritage. These are my people was all I could think. My parents did not teach me Dutch or tell me much about my heritage, choosing instead to raise me as a Canadian without any background. Your parent's story taught me more about my heritage than both of my parents did! Thank you.,l
Mrs. Gerre Harris
December 7, 2014
I just watched the very moving, "Steal A Pencil for Me," and with tears of joy, I applaud Jaap and Ina's love story. My deepest condolence to the family,
November 2, 2014
My prayers to your family. Thank you for sharing your precious life and story with the world. Wishing Mr. Polak many prayers and blessings.
Xanthe Sherman Swan
September 21, 2014
Ever since I watched "Steal a Pencil for Me" I have felt a connection with Ina and Jaap. I bought the book and would check on the Internet to make sure they were both with us. Well life gets busy as it does but I thought of them today and was rewatching their story when I checked on them. So incredibly sad to hear of Ina's passing. I could tell she was a beautiful spirit. Bless you all. I will keep you in my prayers.
September 21, 2014
My heart goes out to the Polak family. Just today I watched "Steal a Pencil for Me" and fell in love with Ina and Jaap. I was touched by their story. The memory of Ina will forever stay with me.
September 9, 2014
In memory of Ina. Thoughts are with your family.
August 14, 2014
I have just finished watching "Steal A Pencil For Me" and my eyes are still wet. Please accept my condolences for the loss of Ina. Hold on to your memories and each other...Ina had a life well lived.
August 9, 2014
I just watched "Steal a Pencil for Me" and was so touched by their story it brought tears. What a true survivor and heroine. So sorry for your loss Jaap and hope you're keeping the strength and faith you and Ina shared to make your lives complete! You are both in my prayers.
Patricia Akers, Fort Lupton, Co, August 9, 2014
August 7, 2014
I just watched "Steal a Pencil For Me". I was so blessed by it. I pray that Jack is well and God is giving comfort. Life here is so short but, the eternity to come will bring you both go ether again. Thank you for blessing me! I am not yet a grandparent but I will share your story with our boy. Rhonda Olson
Sissy Block Zoller
August 5, 2014
I am watching Steal a Pencil for Me with my husband of six months (the love of my life) telling hiim about meeting Jack and Ina at Limmud NY 2010. So sad to hear that Ina just passed away. She was a wonderful woman with ageless spirit. Jack and family - so sorry for your loss.
August 2, 2014
I just saw "Steal a pencil for me" (Sat, August 2, 2014).
IT was beautiful. I started looking for them I found her Facebook, and I was thrilled and wanted to talk to her. But then I found this. I feel sad. Blessings for the family and love. Thank you all of you.
Andrea Perez, 16 yrs-old
July 28, 2014
I just finished watching Steal A Pencil For Me and I was very moved by it. Their story was a beautiful one. I hope Jack is doing well. Sorry for your loss ?? Bless your souls
July 21, 2014
I recently began a journey of the Holocaust and because of this journey I watched Steal a Pencil for Me. I so wished I could have meet Ina in person, but through the documentary I feel as though they are family. They taught us some very good lessons. I will never forget Jack and Ina! I hope Jack is doing well, prayers to the whole family!
July 20, 2014
I am so sorry to hear of Ina's passing. I was hoping to write a letter to her and her husband as I just finished watching Steal a Pencil for Me. What a moving story of two unbelievably elegant and hopeful people. I am still speechless. 68 years of a wonderful life together that you gave her Mr. Polak. What more could a woman ask.
July 17, 2014
I watched the movie a few years back and mailed a short note of appreciation to Ina and Jack; I received a wonderful reply from Ina in response and I still have it. I am so sorry to learn of her passing, but she will be remembered fondly by myself and my family here in Texas. Our Prayers go out to Jack and their family.
June 28, 2014
Dear Margrit and Harvey,
Chris and I are so sad to learn of Ina's passing. She was and is the vision of beauty and elegance. Our condolences to you and your wonderful family.
John and Chris Nicoletta
June 15, 2014
I just finished seeing the documentary "Steal a Pencil for Me" and my condolences to all the family. Were it not for this film, I would never have known Jack and Ina, and their incredible story.
June 9, 2014
Condolences to your entire family. I had the pleasure of meeting Ina and working with her as her occupational therapist. I am a better person for knowing her and learning about her life and struggles. She was a warm and wonderful woman. I look forward to the opportunity to continue her and her husbands legacy to everyone I know ! We must never forget!
May 23, 2014
My family and I would like to express our sympathies to Jack and family. Ina was a beautiful, remarkable lady! We met Ina at many interfaith Holocaust functions in Westchester that my brother Gary videoded. I feel blessed to have known such an inspiration to everyone. sincerely, Randi, Karyl and Gary Miller.
May 18, 2014
Ina was a beacon of class and grace and an anchor to Jack's world citizenry. My sympathies to jack and their family. She will be be remembered fondly.
Rabbi Philip and Nancy Berkowitz
May 17, 2014
Jack and family
Our sympathy to you in this hour of your grief. We we were fortunate to know Ina. She was a special lady. May God comfort you and may Ina's memory be a blessing.