7 reasons why you need to see Anne Frank’s stepsister in Birmingham Mar. 29

Eva Schloss, Holocaust survivor and Anne Frank's stepsister

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Eva Schloss, Holocaust survivor and Anne Frank's stepsister
Eva Schloss, Holocaust survivor and Anne Frank’s stepsister, will be speaking at Samford University’s Wright Center March 29 at 6PM.

NOTICE: Event has been cancelled as of March 15, 2020. Did you know that most remaining survivors of the Holocaust were children, and are now in their 80s and 90s? On March 29, Birmingham has the rare opportunity to see Eva Schloss, survivor and stepsister to Anne Frank. Find out why you want to get your tickets now.

But first, the event details:

  • Event: A Historic Evening with Eva Schloss, stepsister of Anne Frank
  • Time: Sunday, March 29, 6PM
  • Location: Samford University Wright Center
  • Admission: starts at $20, $15 for students
  • Audience: appropriate for people of all faiths, age 13+
  • Get tickets

Complimentary tickets are available for students who would like to attend the event. Teachers, students or parents, reach out to Mushka Weinbaum at office@chabadofalabama.com.

1. Wait—Anne Frank had a stepsister?

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Regrann from @anne_m_frank – Otto Frank, Anne’s father, died of lung cancer #onthisday in 1980, at the age of 91. . After Auschwitz is liberated in January 1945, Otto returns to Amsterdam. On his way back, he hears of Edith’s death in Birkenau. He hopes Anne and Margot might still be alive, but then discovers that they too did not survive the war. Miep Gies gives him Anne’s diaries. . In 1953, Otto marries Elfriede Geiringer and they moves to Basel in Switzerland. Over the years Otto answers thousands of letters from people who have read his daughter’s diary. In 1960 the Anne Frank House becomes a museum. Otto Frank remains involved with the Anne Frank House until his death and campaigns for human rights and respect. . “I’m now almost ninety and my strength is slowly failing. Still, the task I received from Anne continues to restore my energy: to struggle for reconciliation and human rights throughout the world.” (Otto Frank) . Photo: 1) Otto with Margot and Anne. 2) Otto in Anne’s room in the Annex. 3) Otto with his second wife Elfriede, her daughter Eva and three grandchildren. . . #ottofrank #annefrank #margotfrank #fritzifrank #evaschloss #anafrank #annafrank #annfrank #annefrankdiary #annefrankhouse #annefranksdiary #annefrankhuis #annefrankmuseum #annefrankhaus #eldiariodeanafrank #diariodeannefrank #secondworldwar #thediaryofannefrank #holocaust #shoah #hetachterhuis #thesecretannex #dastagebuchderannefrank @anne_m_frank – #regrann

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When I read Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, I didn’t remember tales of a stepsister. The way things unfolded, Anne Frank never knew that after the war, her childhood friend Eva Geiringer’s mother married her own father, Otto Frank, making the girls stepsisters.

During the evening, Eva, who later became Eva Schloss, will share stories from her childhood along with her own story of survival during the Holocaust.

2. Our world needs tolerance and love.

Even if you’ve never met Rabbi Yossi Posner, if you’ve ever had challah from Chabad of Alabama, you’ve enjoyed the fruits of his labor. He’s the main driver behind the early-Friday-morning bread-baking operation.

Here’s what he had to say about Eva Schloss’ upcoming visit to Birmingham in his role as executive director of Chabad of Alabama:

“We’re honored and excited to host this courageous woman. When you hear a first-hand account—a story as powerful as Eva’s – it changes you and how you see the world. The need for tolerance and love is understood on a much deeper level.”

Which means it’s pretty hard to come away from an event like this unmoved. Know you want to go? Save your spot.

3. Eva Schloss and Anne Frank were friends and playmates during the war.

Here’s a little history recap: 1938 was a big year in Europe, when Germany invaded Austria. Though there were some rumblings before 1938 that things weren’t going to go well for the Jews, March 3, 1938, known as “the Anschluss” changed everything.

At that time, many Jewish families packed their bags and got out of Austria to avoid persecution. One of the emigrants was 8-year old Eva Geiringer. She and her mother, brother and father went to Belgium first, then Holland. It was in Holland that she met Anne Frank, who was one of her neighbors and also a little girl of the same age.

Like most kids who are the same age and into the same things, they became good friends, doing the things that little girls at that time did: skipping, playing hopscotch and marbles and drinking lemonade.

Unfortunately, though many thought Holland was going to be a safe place, it didn’t turn out that way. After a period of hiding, both girls and their families were deported to Auschwitz-Brikenau, one of the most notorious death camps of World War II.

4. Eva survived Auschwitz. Anne didn’t.

Both families went into hiding until someone let the authorities know where they were, and they were sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp.

As anyone who’s familiar with Anne Frank’s story knows, she didn’t survive the war. Eva, on the other hand, did, and lived to tell the tale.

After the war, Eva’s mom and Otto Frank married. Otto Frank had a positive and powerful influence on Eva’s life, helping her to learn to love life and live life again after the Holocaust—no easy feat.

Later, she moved to England, married Zvi Schloss, and raised three daughters. She worked as a studio photographer, using her stepfather’s old camera, and ran an antique shop.

5. Since 1985, Eva Schloss has been a tireless Holocaust educator and advocate for global peace.

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Our @patrickjameswitheycreative ’s thoughts & poem for Eva & Heinz Today is Holocaust Memorial Day, a day that this year holds significant weight for me. Through performing in James Still’s “And Then They Came For Me”, I have developed an incredible connection to the events of 75 Years ago. To the incredible Eva Schloss who I am so privileged to have met and talked to many times. And to Heinz Geiringer, Eva’s brother, who’s story I get to portray onstage. An incredibly talented young man who was murdered by the Nazis at Ebensee Concentration Camp aged just 18, a few days before the camp was liberated by the Allies. He was a beautiful poet, musician and painter, and I only wish he had had the chance to live his life. Who knows what he would have achieved. His father, Erich Geiringer, made a promise to his children, that when you die you live on in the lives you have touched, that it’s a chain, and as long as people tell your story you never truly die. I will always tell your story Heinz, you live on through me. Below is a poem I wrote for Heinz and Eva, which Eva now reads at many talks around the world as she keeps her promise to Heinz and her father; even at 90 she is still telling their story. Let us never forget what happened and do everything in our power to stop it ever happening again. Known You I feel as if I’ve known you I feel like we have met That we’ve shared some time together Some time I’ll never forget. I love you like I’ve known you Even though we’re worlds apart United by your sister By your story, by the arts. I feel as if I’ve known you Even though that's not the case I’ll never hear your music Or see a smile light up your face. I mourn you like I’ve known you And I want the world to do the same For them all to know your story To stop us repeating it again I feel as if I’ve known you And I wish the world could know you too Because if you were not lost so early Who knows what you could do? I’ll remember like I’ve known you Spread your story far and wide To keep your father's promise To keep your family alive. I feel as if I’ve known you Through your poems and your art I’ll carry you with me always Like your Sister, in my heart

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For the Holocaust survivors I’ve known, it seems like there were many years when they didn’t speak of their experience. And then something changed, and they began. Once they began, they felt it was important to continue, and so they did.

Since 1985, when she stared speaking of her experiences, Eva Schloss has told the story of what she experienced during the war in more than 1000 speaking engagements.

Here are some highlights of her contributions:

In this work, Eva joins courageous Holocaust survivors here in Birmingham and around the world in working to end violence and bigotry. Her message, ultimately, is one of hope, and a reminder that “life is precious and fragile, that the creative spirit is stronger than fear, and that the power of good is immeasurable.”

6. 75 years after the liberation of Auschwitz, it’s important for the world to remember.

For people who lived through the Holocaust and those of us who know and love them, the words “Never Again” are way more than a slogan. Since January 27, 2020 marked the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, this message seems more timely than ever.

7. You’ll be able to buy prints from Eva’s late brother Heinz Geiringer.

Sadly, Eva’s brother Heinz Geiringer was also killed during the war. However, before he died, he told Eva about some prints he had stashed in the attic where he had hidden. 

After the war, she went back and rescued the prints. After Eva’s speech at Samford’s Wright Center, you’ll be able to buy your own copy of the prints. Signed books will also be for sale at the event.

Be sure to save your spot

If you don’t want to miss this historic opportunity to hear Eva Schloss speak in person, get your ticket now.

  • Event: A Historic Evening with Eva Schloss, stepsister of Anne Frank
  • Time: Sunday, March 29, 6PM
  • Location: Samford University Wright Center
  • Admission: starts at $20, $15 for students
  • Audience: appropriate for people of all faiths, age 13+
  • Get tickets

This event is sponsored by Chabad of Alabama with the generous support of multiple donors:

  • Gold sponsors: ABC 33/40, Brenda & Fred Friedman, Medical Properties Trust
  • Silver sponsors: Hal Abroms, Gail & Jeffrey Bayer, Lisa & Alan Engel, Goldfarb family, Ronne & Donald Hess, Hoover Toyota, Kristi & John Mejia
  • Bronze sponsors: Birmingham Jewish Federation, Birmingham Jewish Foundation, The Caring Foundation of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, Bham Now

The Birmingham Holocaust Education Center will be presenting as an educational partner.

Sponsored by:

Author: Sharron Mendel Swain

Writer, Interviewer + Adventurer | Telling stories to make a difference