Holocaust survivor and stepsister of Anne Frank, Eva Schloss will be visiting Orange County this March for two events, first speaking to students from three local high schools at Newport Harbor High School and then at an event open to the public at The Irvine Barclay Theatre on Tuesday, March 17, 2020.
Students and the community will enter the world of Anne Frank as told by her stepsister and childhood friend. At the age of eight, Eva became friends with Anne, playing hopscotch and drinking lemonade together.
Eva Schloss, a trustee of the Anne Frank Educational Trust, has published two books and is the subject of James Still’s play “And Then They Came For Me – Remembering The World of Anne Frank.” Like her stepsister, Eva went into hiding in Holland, was betrayed, captured, and sent to the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp. Her father and brother did not survive the ordeal, and only Eva and her mother, barely alive, were liberated in 1945 by Soviet troops. The perilous reality of Eva’s survival is difficult to imagine, and yet it reminds us that life is precious and fragile; that the power of good is immeasurable and love makes a difference.
In March 2019, Eva was visiting Chapman University when students from several Newport Beach high schools attended an off-campus party where they gave Nazi salutes while posing in front of solo cups arranged in the shape of a swastika. The anti-Semitic incident made national headlines, and Schloss agreed to meet with the teenagers involved in the dark incident. The students apologized for their actions to Ms. Schloss. She shared with them her harrowing experiences as a teenager herself during the Holocaust and the trauma it reignites when Holocaust survivors witness conduct such as theirs. She educated them on the implications of the imagery they used.
Eva’s visit marked the beginning of a major transformation at Newport Harbor High School. Chabad Center for Jewish Life in Newport Beach, working closely with campus leadership, including principal Dr. Sean Boulton, arranged for all Newport Harbor High School students and teens from other area high schools to begin visiting the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles. This past summer, the faculty spent several days the Wiesenthal Center’s “Tools for Tolerance” program with a long-term goal of creating a learning environment that promotes anti-bias education, inclusion, and equity.
A “Blaze it Forward” Club, in memory of Blaze Bernstein, z”l, was formed at the high school to foster an environment of light, tolerance and coexistence on campus. Existing Jewish clubs and programs were strengthened and new outlets for students were launched.
During her visit this year Eva will spend an evening with student leaders and faculty from the Newport-Mesa Unified School District. Her talk will focus on expansion of the positive events that resulted from her last visit, followed by a Q&A session with students.
The community is invited to touch history in a way we will never be able to again. Hear Eva Schloss, Anne Frank’s 90-year-old stepsister, tell her story of survival against all odds, and how she rebuilt her life out of the shadows of darkness and ashes of destruction. Be inspired to never give up hope and always see the light at the end of the tunnel. The Irvine Barclay Theatre is expecting a complete sell out for this historical event.
With fewer Holocaust survivors left to share their story, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hear from one of the individuals who survived the horror of that dark period in history.
For tickets and sponsorships, please visit www.AnneFrankOC.com or call (949) 721-9800. This event is co-sponsored by the Chabad Center for Jewish Life and the Irvine Barclay Theatre.