'Miss Lovely' in London: Paulette Cooper writes another chapter in her amazing story - 2015-08-30

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F347.png 'Miss Lovely' in London: Paulette Cooper writes another chapter in her amazing story August 30, 2015, Tony Ortega, Underground Bunker

On Saturday, Paulette Cooper met a man named Peter de Hoo for the first time. Her husband Paul captured the moment in this photograph. For those of you who have read our book, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely, you may already know what a significant meeting this is.

In 2011, we met Paulette for the first time at a breakfast in New York after corresponding with her for years. She was already well known for being the most legendary target for the Church of Scientology's infamous "Fair Game" policy of ruination after the publication of her 1971 book The Scandal of Scientology. But at that breakfast, not all of the discussion was about L. Ron Hubbard's spies: Paulette also happened to mention that she and her sister Suzy had still never figured out how the two of them had survived the Holocaust in Belgium, when they were small children. We mentioned that fact in the story we wrote about our meeting for the Village Voice, and a couple of newspapers in Belgium and the Netherlands picked up on it. Soon, Paulette began to hear from de Hoo, who claimed that his father, Sijbren de Hoo, had been a close friend to Paulette's biological parents, Chaim and Ruchla Bucholc (Paulette's birth name was Paula Bucholc).

Paulette got us involved, and the two of us quizzed Peter to make sure what he was saying was authentic. He soon proved without a doubt that his father had been a close friend of Chaim Bucholc, a Polish leatherworker who had emigrated to Antwerp in the late 1920s. Peter not only had a leather item, a bookcover, Chaim had made for his friend Sijbren, but the de Hoo family also had in its possession a photograph of Paulette's sister as a young child. With the help of the de Hoo family, and the meticulous records kept by the Nazis, we were able to piece together the fates of Paulette's parents, who were sent to Auschwitz to be killed, and to get a solid idea of how Paulette and Suzy had avoided that fate. The two of them, like their parents, had been brought to a concentration camp and were scheduled to be sent to Auschwitz in the summer of 1943, but Sijbren de Hoo and other close friends scrambled to raise enough cash and black market goods to bribe the corrupt commandant of the camp, and the girls were smuggled to the first of several orphanages that became their refuge. In 1948, Paulette was adopted by Ted and Stella Cooper of New York, and she's lived in the US ever since. Without Sijbren de Hoo and a few others, however, she would not have survived the war. And now, for the first time, she was meeting Sijbren's son.


{{cite news | author = Tony Ortega | title = 'Miss Lovely' in London: Paulette Cooper writes another chapter in her amazing story | url = https://tonyortega.org/2015/08/30/miss-lovely-in-london-paulette-cooper-writes-another-chapter-in-her-amazing-story/ | work = Underground Bunker | date = August 30, 2015 | accessdate = August 21, 2017 }}