On Wednesday, Feb. 7, Eva Schloss will share her experiences as the childhood friend and step sister of Anne Frank, including accounts of the publishing of Anne's diary.
The presentation will take place at the George Mason University Center For The Arts at 7 p.m. and will be suitable for people of all ages including teenagers. Families of all faiths are invited to attend. This is an opportunity to hear a first-hand account from someone whose life intersected with a historical figure.
Chabad of Reston-Herndon is a sponsor for the event. Partners for the evening include:
- The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington
- JCC of Northern Virginia
- George Mason University
- Gesher Jewish Day School
- Washington Jewish Week
- Fairfax County Public Schools
In 1938, Germany invaded Austria, causing many Jewish families to flee Austria to avoid persecution. Among the emigrants was 8-year-old Eva Geiringer, who with her mother, brother, and father moved first to Belgium and then to Holland, where one of her neighbors was a German Jewish girl of the same age.
The two girls became friends and playmates (though, as Eva would say many years later, the girl was "much more grown-up and mature than me"). They passed the time by skipping, playing hopscotch and marbles, and drinking lemonade that the girl's mother prepared.
Ultimately, both girls and their families were deported to the Auschwitz concentration camp. Later they would become step sisters.
Eva survived her concentration camp experience and made her way to England, where she married Zvi Schloss and raised three daughters. She worked as a studio photographer and ran an antique shop.
Her step-sister did not survive Auschwitz, but kept a diary that did. Her name was Anne Frank.
Since 1985, Eva Schloss has devoted herself to holocaust education and global peace. She has recounted her wartime experiences in more than one thousand speaking engagements. She has written two books and has had a play written about her life. In 1999 she signed the Anne Frank Peace Declaration along with United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan and the niece of Raoul Wallenberg, who rescued thousands of Jews in Budapest.
Tickets for students are free, $10 for adults and $360 for VIP which includes two tickets to a VIP reception and reserved seating. Reservations can be made at www.chabadrh.org.