ST. PETERSBURG – Eva Schloss – the stepsister and childhood friend of Anne Frank, Holocaust survivor and author – will speak Monday, Feb. 10, 7:30 p.m., at The Palladium at St. Petersburg College, 253 25th Ave N.
Schloss’ compelling story of survival and how she and her mother rebuilt their lives is gripping. The presentation will be suitable for teenagers and families of all faiths.
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. Her name was Anne Frank.
The two girls became friends and playmates. They passed the time by skipping, playing hopscotch and marbles, and drinking lemonade that Anne's mother prepared.
Ultimately, both girls and their families were deported to the Auschwitz concentration camp.
She recalls the day Anne Frank’s father showed her a small package containing his daughter’s diary, and his path in bringing himself back to life by publishing the diary around the world.
“Eva is a courageous individual who works tirelessly to end the violence and bigotry that continues to plague our world,” said Rabbi Alter Korf, of the Chabad Jewish Center of St. Petersburg, the organization sponsoring the event. “We are honored and excited to play host to this great person.”
Schloss has never visited the Tampa Bay area, and it is likely she will not return. Organizers are expecting a large turnout.