Sophie Frank Midas, The Family Matriarch

Sophie was a tower of immense wisdom and strength of character as her family went through a shocking life altering adverse experience. It included loss of a very privileged upper class life, the loss of a family business and way of earning a living and having her family  separated and living in different countries because of the threat to Jewish survival in Germany. Her resilience and drive was the invisible glue that held the family together and enabled them to remake their lives in New York. Sophie immigrated with her husband Lothar, daughter Hilde and son-in-law Max from Portugal which provided safe haven to some immigrants from Germany.

Pre World War II in Germany

Sophie as a young woman

Sophie as the mother of 3 children with her husband Lothar

Eldest daughter Gusty’s marriage to Ernst Mohr (Bill’s parents). In 1939, they escaped Germany to safe haven in Haiti.

 

On the left, Bill’s Grandfather Lothar Midas; on the right Lothar’s brother Joseph

According to a published account, Bill’s grandfather Lothar Midas and his brother, Joseph, had been severely beaten. In November 1938, during Kristallnacht, Nazi thugs attacked the two men, both in their sixties, and forced them to sign a document relinquishing ownership of the successful plate glass company that had been in the family for generations. CLICK HERE to read the report in the book, Buried by The Times.

Post World War II

Shabbos candles Sophie lit every Friday night as she prayed for youngest daughter Elsbeth’s survival, both in hiding in Amsterdam and later in Auschwitz

Picture that hung in Bill’s apartment in NYC, taken about the time Elsbeth went into hiding in Amsterdam with her husband Robert. They were captured in Amsterdam and sent to Auschwitz where Robert was executed by hanging.

Family picnic reunion in NY. Sophie and Lothar’s three daughters and their husbands and two grandchildren, Bill and Ruth.

Family photo (l to r) Elsbeth who survived Auschwitz with her hand on Sophie’s shoulder. Center is Bill’s mother Gusty who escaped to Haiti. To her right is her sister Hilde who escaped to Portugal where she awaited the arrival of her parents. Front row on the right is Lothar, Sophie’s husband and father of the three girls.

Sophie and Lothar in their last years

A close up of Sophie

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