by: Gerard Ramalho, KSNV
LAS VEGAS (KSNV) — "I'm a very ordinary person, why did I survive?"
It’s a question Eva Schloss has asked herself countless times.
She's a Holocaust survivor whose story in many ways parallels that of another famous child during the Nazi regime; Anne Frank, also 11-years-old at the time, was her friend.
Both families lived in Amsterdam.
"We did hopscotch, skipping and marbles and gossiping. She was very interested in boys already with 11 years old. And as I had an older brother she was keen to come and meet him," said Schloss.
But the good times didn't last.
The Nazi's were determined to gather up all the Jews and send them to so-called work camps.
"We were 2 years hiding, and we had to change several times because people didn't want to take attention all of the time because of the house searches," said Schloss.
After the hiding, Eva never connected with her friend Anne again.
Ultimately, Eva, her father, mother, and brother, were all sent to Auschwitz. Of the family, only she and her mother survived.
Now, after remaining silent for decades, Eva is telling her story; speaking publicly, and featured in the documentary called, "No Asylum", a Holocaust memoir that centers on recently discovered letters written by Anne Frank’s father.
"She is a beacon of hope. And she really personifies that message of really being able to move on," said Paula Fouce, who directed the “No Asylum” movie.
Eva admits she will never understand the horrors of the Holocaust or why it was allowed, but she does understand her own purpose now, to share first-hand an incredible time in history that can't be rewritten, only reaffirmed.
"And people do say to me, well God left you alive so that you can talk about your experience and educate people," said Schloss.
Eva’s story is so amazing, and her relationship with Anne Frank would ultimately take on more significance later in life.
Anne, her sister, and mother were killed in the camps. Eva's father and brother were killed in the camps. But after the war, Eva's mother and Anne's father got reacquainted, established a relationship and were married.
So Eva technically became Anne's step-sister.
On Friday, there will be a special screening of “No Asylum” at the Lied Library at UNLV.
It happens at 4:30 p.m. and Eva will be there to take questions from the audience. It is free to the public.