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Sonja Prins (1912–2009)

Author of Het boek van de cineast

Includes the names: Sonja Prins, Sonja Prins, Wanda Koopman

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Disambiguation Notice

Sonja Prins used the pen name Wanda Koopman for her first book of poetry. Her other works were published under her real name.

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Short biography
Heeft lange tijd gevangen gezeten in kamp Ravensbrück. Hierover schreef zij de roman "De groene jas" die in 1949 uitkwam.

Sophie Prins was born in Haarlem, The Netherlands, the daughter of the feminist lawyer and education innovator Ina Prins-Willekes MacDonald and her husband, journalist Adriaan Pieter "Apie" Prins. As a child, Sophie travelled the world with her parents. When she was 14, they returned to The Netherlands. While a university student in Amsterdam, Sophie joined the Dutch Communist Party and founded the avant-garde magazine Front with an inheritance from her grandmother. It carried articles by leading writers from around the world, including Ezra Pound and John Dos Passos. At the age of 20, in 1933, she made her literary debut under the pseudonym Wanda Koopman with the poetry collection Proeve in Strategie, the first of several pre-war poetry volumes. She had three children, born from her relationship with Fokke Scholten and marriage to Piet Jansen Schoonhoven. During the Nazi Occupation of Holland in World War II, she wrote for and distributed the underground Communist resistance newspaper Vonk. She was arrested together with her mother in 1941; her mother was released but Sonja was deported to the Ravensbrück women's concentration camp. She survived the war and in 1949, published De Groene Jas (The Green Jacket), a novel about Ravensbrück. She worked as a secretary for the monthly publication Politiek en cultuur (Politics and Culture). She initially privately published her first volume of post-war poetry, Brood en rozen (Bread and Roses, 1953). Disillusioned by the Russian invasion of Hungary in 1956, she left the Communist Party, but was unable to find work or a publisher for a long period of time. Finally, in the 1970s, her work began to appear in print again. In 1975, she collected a large number of her early works in Poems 1930-1958. She also worked on radio and television making documentaries and wrote TV and radio plays. In 1981, she was recognized with the Resistance Commemorative Cross. She spent her final years living in an isolated hut in the forests of Baarle-Nassau.
Disambiguation notice
Sonja Prins used the pen name Wanda Koopman for her first book of poetry. Her other works were published under her real name.

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