Catharina Polak

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

Catharina Polak

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Carol-Ann Rahl

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.

Sherri Burton

January 18, 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.

lisbeth luckonchang

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.

nichole Christensen

January 12, 2015

Love Is Eternal!

Tanya Rak

December 30, 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 8, 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,

Donna Anderson

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 22, 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.

Aleida Felix-Cajahuaringa

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.
Aleida F