MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The people of Memphis and the Mid-South have the rare opportunity to encounter a person who embodies a living history of World War II, the Holocaust and its aftermath next week at the University of Memphis.
Eva Schloss, the surviving 89-year-old stepsister of the famed Anne Frank, will share her stories about the Holocaust and its consequences at the Michael D. Rose Theater at the University of Memphis at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 16
“It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet and hear from someone as Mrs. Eva Schloss who will share her life experiences and what it was like growing up at that time and share a message of resilience,” said said Rabbi Levi Klein, Director of the Chabad Center for Jewish Life at 2750 Kirby Parkway.
Eva Schloss and Anne Frank were childhood neighborhood playmates who lived on the same block in Amsterdam, Holland on the western coast of the Netherlands.
Their families both went into hiding during the Nazi occupation, were betrayed and forced into the Auschwitz German concentration camp where Eva arrived on her 15th birthday.
Anne Frank and her sister Margot later died at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. After the war, Anne Frank’s father, Otto Frank, returned to Amsterdam to learn that his daughter’s diary had been preserved.
Schloss is a living witness to these events and speaks from memory about the discovery of Anne Frank’s diary, which has now been published in 60 languages.
She and Anne Frank became stepsisters when her mother Fritzi (1905-1998) married Anne Frank’s father Otto after the war. The couple had both lost their first spouses and many other family members in the Holocaust.
Based in London, Schloss now travels the world and is making a swing through Tennessee in October. She’ll share her story on Thursday, Oct. 11 in Nashville and Sunday, Oct. 14 in Chattanooga before her Memphis appearance Tuesday, Oct. 16.
A trustee of the Anne Frank Educational Trust, Schloss has published two books about her life and is the subject of James Still’s play “And Then They Came for Me ---Remembering the World of Anne Frank.”
“Our goal is to include the diverse citizens of Memphis to come together to witness first hand from a prominent figure as Anne Frank’s stepsister as all are familiar with her diary,” said Rabbi Klein.
The Memphis appearance is co-sponsored by Unknown Child Foundation, Facing History and Ourselves and the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel.
Tickets are available via the event website or by calling (901) 754-0404.
WMC Action News 5′s Joe Birch will serve as emcee for the event.