Anne Frank’s stepsister to speak in Rockford Aug. 31

Eva Schloss
Eva Schloss

Staff Report

Noted author, childhood friend and stepsister of Anne Frank, Eva Schloss, 85, of London, England, will make her first appearance in the Midwest from 4 to 5:30 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 31, in the auditorium of the U of I College of Medicine at Rockford, 1601 Parkview Ave., Rockford. The event is presented by Rockford’s Chabad Community Center.

Eva grew up in Amsterdam, alongside her childhood friend and classmate, Anne Frank, and went into hiding with her family to avoid Nazi capture. Ultimately, both girls and their families were deported to the Auschwitz concentration camp.

After the war and their miraculous survival, Eva and her mother, the sole survivors of their family, began to rebuild their life. Eva’s mother then married Otto Frank, Anne Frank’s father, and Eva became forever entwined with the mission to share her family’s story — including the famous Anne Frank diary, published by her then-stepfather, Otto Frank. Later, Eva made her way to England, where she married and raised three daughters, worked as a studio photographer, and ran an antique shop.

Eva has captivated audiences at hundreds of events worldwide with her personal account. Meet this regal woman of hope and positivity and hear her intriguing story of coming of age in the shadow of Anne Frank’s quick rise from obscurity to worldwide fame.

Although she was silent about her own experiences for 40 years, since 1985, Eva has devoted herself to Holocaust education and global peace. She wrote two books and has a play written about her life. In 1999, Eva 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.

The event’s coordinator, Rabbi Chesky Rothman, notes: “Eva joins many courageous individuals who work tirelessly to end the violence and bigotry that continue to plague our world. Eva’s story is sensational and difficult to imagine, yet her insightful message reminds us that life is precious and fragile, that the creative spirit is stronger than fear, that the power of good is immeasurable, and that love makes a difference.”

Tickets are on sale at General seating includes pre-event hors d’oeuvres, and cost is $15 for adults and $5 for students. VIP packages with preferred seating, personal photo with Eva, an autographed book, as well as a post-event buffet dinner reception with Eva are available for $100 per person and $180 per couple. Proceeds will benefit the center’s youth programming.

From the July 9-15, 2014, issue

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