Eva Schloss, now 89, travels the world on a schedule that would tire most millennials. She has a mission and a message that compels her to not slow down. In her own words, “I know I can’t change the world, but I can spread the seed. For as long as we will remember, there can be hope.”
Mrs. Schloss’s travels will bring her to Chattanooga for appearances Sunday and Tuesday, both at Memorial Auditorium. Sunday is a ticketed event that is open to the public, while the Tuesday event is a special program for Hamilton County high school students.
Tickets for Voices from Auschwitz are available on Ticketmaster. Proceeds will be used to support the work of the Jewish community in the Chattanooga area.
“Eva Schloss is one of the few remaining Holocaust survivors, and a powerful voice for a time that we need to remember and never repeat,” said Rabbi Shaul Pearlstein of Chabad of Chattanooga. “It is incredible that we are able to host her here in Chattanooga.”
Born Eva Geiringer in Germany in 1929, Mrs. Schloss lived a normal childhood until, forced out by the rise of the Nazis, her family moved to Amsterdam in 1942. Then, after the Germans occupied Holland, the family went into hiding. The family of Anne Frank, a friend of Mrs. Schloss’s, also went into hiding nearby.
Like the Frank family, the Geiringer family was betrayed. On May 11, 1944--Mrs. Schloss’s 15th birthday--they were arrested and sent to the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp. Mrs. Schloss and her mother survived, but her father and brother did not. Several years after the war ended, Mrs. Schloss’s mother married Otto Frank, who lost his wife and daughter Anne at Auschwitz.
In the mid-eighties, after marrying Zvi Schloss and bringing up their own children, Mrs. Schloss became more engaged in educational efforts related to the Holocaust. In 1988 she published Eva’s Story and began to speak out publicly about her experiences.
“Eva’s story is riveting, but that is not the most important reason to hear her speak," said Rabbi Pearlstein. “The true power of her message lies the triumph of the human spirit and the resulting hope, peace and love that can persevere and overcome even the darkest of evil.”
Voices from Auschwitz is the result of many people from many faith backgrounds coming together to plan and organize the event. Major sponsors include Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee, Volkswagen Group of America, Lipsey Logistics, Lipsey Water and Unum. The Tuesday event for school students was made possible through a special gift from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee.
The public event on Sunday begins at 7 p.m. at the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Auditorium. For ticket information go to EvaTickets.com.