Holocaust Survivors and the State of Israel

“Being a midwife meant coming back to life”

Sophie Engelsman


Sophie Engelsman is a certified nurse and midwife who has delivered thousands of children in Israel throughout her long and distinguished career.

Sophie was born in 1926 in Rotterdam, Holland. In 1943, the population of the hospital she worked in as a nurse was evacuated to Westerbork. Working as a slave laborer, she survived serious illness in Sobibor, Lublin, Trawniki, Katowice, Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen and Raguhn. Liberated from Theresienstadt on the brink of death with typhus, Sophie was reunited with surviving family members, and emigrated to Israel in 1949. Reflecting on her career as a midwife, Sophie says “I saw so many people and children die that bringing life into this world was the ultimate gift.” As a midwife, Sophie has delivered all of her 21 grandchildren. Sophie also has six great-grandchildren.