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  • Belgium/Red Star Line Index

Belgium and the Red Star Line (RSL) Museum

Sonia and her family are featured in the RSL Museum, dedicated to immigration and the RSL. The Museum knows of about six surviving RSL passengers, of whom Sonia is one. See The Jewish News of Sarasota-Manatee (Vol. 41, No. 2, Feb. 2011) for an article about this. On Aug. 6, 2011, Philip Heylen, then-Antwerp’s vice mayor for culture and tourism, gave a talk entitled “Antwerp to America: The Red Star Line and Jewish Immigrants,” to Sonia’s congregation, the Congregation for Humanistic Judaism, in Sarasota, Fl, which focused on Sonia and her family.


On August 6, 2011, at the Congregation for Humanistic Judaism program at the Unity Church, Sarasota, FL, Sonia introduced the speaker, Philip Heylen, vice mayor for culture, tourism, and public worship of Antwerp, Belgium, whose speaking engagement she had arranged.

The Red Star Line Museum’s website is at http://www.redstarline.be/en. Read about Sonia and her family on that website.

Click here to read Sonia’s speech at the international press conference on Sept. 24, 2013, in connection with the opening of the RSL Museum. Sonia was the only surviving RSL passenger present at the week’s festivities in connection with the opening of the Museum.

The Red Star Line Museum is a member of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience and is mentioned on its website at:  http://www.sitesofconscience.org/

Sonia Pressman Fuentes

The Oct. 17, 2014, issue of Deus Ex Machina, a literary magazine written in Flemish and distributed in Belgium and The Netherlands, included two excerpts from Sonia’s memoir, “Accidental Birth” and “If You Speak His Language,” and three pictures of Sonia—with her parents and brother, Hermann, in Berlin, Germany; alone in her toy car; and with Hermann in the City Park in Antwerp, Belgium.

Click on the images to enlarge.