Dresden-Polak was a member of the Netherlands' women's gymnastics team at the 1928 Amsterdam Games, the first time women's gymnastics was on the Olympic program. The Dutch women easily won the gold medal in the team event, scoring 316.75 total points. No individual medals were awarded at the Amsterdam Games.
At the 1928 Olympics, about half of the Dutch women's gymnastics team was Jewish, but only one member (Elka de Levie) survived the Holocaust. Dresden-Polak was killed at Sobibor in 1943 with her six-year old daughter, Eva. Her husband, Barend, was killed at Auschwitz in 1944.
The Jewish members of the Netherlands Olympic gymnastics team have been inducted as a group into the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame; they include Dresden-Polak, de Levie, Stella Blits-Agsteribbe, Lea Kloot-Nordheim, Judikje Themans-Simons, and coach Gerrit Kleerekoper.
Birth and Death Dates:
b. Nov. 24, 1906 - d. July 23, 1943
Use links below to navigate through the olympics section of Jews In Sports.
Jewish Sports Legends: The International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, by Joseph Siegman (Washington, D.C.: Brassey's, 2000)
encyclopedia of JEWS in sports, by Bernard Postal, Jesse Silver, and Roy Silver (New York: Bloch Publishing Co., 1965)
The Olympic Games: Athens 1896-Sydney 2000, (New York: Dorling Kindersley, 1999)