The Colorado State University and Fort Collins community will have an extraordinary opportunity to hear from a Holocaust survivor what life was like under the Nazis when Eva Schloss, stepsister and childhood friend of Anne Frank, speaks on Nov. 18, at 7 p.m., in the Lory Student Center Ballroom.
The event, part of CSU’s annual Holocaust Awareness Week, is free and open to the public, but tickets are required, available online at csutix.com. A ticket does not guarantee a seat; doors open at 5:30 p.m.
“We are incredibly fortunate to have Mrs. Schloss speak on our campus this year,” said Rabbi Yerachmiel Gorelik, CSU philosophy instructor an faculty adviser to Students for Holocaust Awareness Week. “Traditionally, we hold the Awareness Week in February, but when we were able to get on Mrs. Schloss’s touring schedule, we rescheduled everything.”
Schloss, now 90 years old and living in London, is the author of three books and the subject of the play, And Then They Came for Me. She is a trustee of the Anne Frank Educational Trust, and since 1985 has dedicated herself to Holocaust education and global peace. She has recounted her wartime experiences in more than 1,000 speaking engagements around the world.
In 1999, Schloss signed the Anne Frank Peace Declaration, along with United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan and the niece of Raul Wallenberg, a legendary figure who rescued thousands of Jews in Budapest.
Schloss was born Eva Geiringer in Vienna to a Jewish family in 1929. Shortly after the annexation of Austria by Germany in 1938, her family emigrated to the Netherlands, where they lived in the same apartment block in Amsterdam as Anne Frank. In 1942, both families went into hiding to avoid the Nazis, but in May 1944, Eva’s family was captured after being betrayed by a double agent in the Dutch underground, and transported to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camps. Her father and brother did not survive, but she and her mother were freed in 1945 by Soviet troops.
They returned to Amsterdam, where Eva and her mother renewed their friendship with Otto Frank, who had lost his wife and children in the camps. In 1953, Eva’s mother married Otto Frank. After his death in 1980, Eva took up his work of keeping the memory of his daughter, Anne, and her diary alive.
Eva Schloss’s appearance is presented by Students for Holocaust Awareness Week at CSU, and co-sponsored by ASCSU, Chabad Jewish Student Organization, Hillel, CSU Residence Hall Association, AEPi, SAEPi, the Office of International Programs, and Lory Student Center.
“Holocaust Awareness Week is put on by a group of dedicated students who see the acts of hate occurring at CSU and want to do something about it,” said Denise Negrete, president of Students for Holocaust Awareness Week. “We believe ignorance is one of the main sources of hate, so education is how Students For Holocaust Awareness resists acts of hate.
“I think a lot of students do not understand how incredibly painful it is for a survivor to share their story with so many people,” she continued. “I hope that by presenting this opportunity to hear firsthand from a survivor it will allow a space for learning, understanding, and self-reflection. We all need understand what hate is, what it can do, and join together to defeat it.”
Additional sponsorship opportunities are available, and include an invitation to a private VIP reception with Schloss and premium seating at her talk. Call (915) 202-4008 for more information about becoming a sponsor.
Holocaust Awareness Week will begin on Friday, Nov. 15, with the planting of the Field of Flags on the Lory Student Center. Each flag represents 5,000 people murdered during the Holocaust, with different colors representing different groups. The flags will remain on display the entire week.
A Litany of Martrys will be read each day, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Thursday on the Plaza (or in the Flea Market if the weather is bad), with volunteers reading the names of those who died during the Holocaust.
Other events will include a movie night and additional lectures and presentations, and the week will conclude with a memorial service and walk to remember the victims.
For a complete schedule, visit the website holocaust.colostate.edu.