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Holocaust survivor Eva Schloss, a stepsister to Anne Frank, speaks at Mason Wednesday, Feb. 7

January 31, 2018   /   by John Hollis

Eva Schloss, Holocaust survivor, noted author and peace activist, will appear at George Mason University on Wednesday, Feb. 7, to speak of her experiences and share memories of Anne Frank, her childhood friend and stepsister.

Schloss will be at Mason’s Center for the Arts beginning at 6:30 p.m., giving a firsthand account of her survival at the Auschwitz concentration camp, her childhood friendship with Anne Frank and her dedication to Holocaust education and global peace. Student admission is free. Get more details here.

“Six million people perished in the Holocaust, but that is such an incomprehensible number,” Schloss said. “It’s very important to hear individual stories—how people survived, but as well how people died.”

Schloss, who will be 89 in May, was born in Austria, but she and her Jewish family were forced to flee their native land when Germany annexed the country in 1938. They eventually made their way to Holland, where young Eva first met Anne Frank, a neighboring German Jewish girl of the same age whose diary detailing life in hiding from 1942 to 1944 was published following her death at a concentration camp.

Schloss and her family were likewise forced into hiding following Germany’s invasion of Holland in 1942. They avoided capture until the family was betrayed to the Nazis in May 1944 and deported to Auschwitz.

Schloss and her mother survived, but her father and brother died at the camp before its liberation by the Russian Army in January 1945. Schloss eventually relocated to England, where she married and raised three daughters.

In 1953, her mother married Otto Frank, the widowed father of Anne and the sole survivor of the Frank family.

“All the survivors [of the Holocaust] are quite elderly unfortunately, and in a few years, we won’t be around,” Schloss said. “It will be up to the young people to remind the world that they have seen and spoken to a Holocaust survivor, that it did happen and know their stories.”