Chabad of Plano/Collin County invites the community to “A Historic Evening with Eva Schloss, Step-Sister of Anne Frank." Event co-chairs are Marla Buskin, Karen Glanger, Bonita Gluckman, Sharona Ohayon, and Sheryl Pidgeon.
Eva Schloss, an 89-year-old Holocaust survivor, peace activist and international speaker, will share her memories of her childhood friend and step-sister Anne Frank and her powerful story of survival, grit, loss, and ultimate triumph of the human spirit. Forty years after the end of World War II, Eva began to share her story. She now travels the globe to spread a message to others to value kindness, diversity, tolerance and our common humanity.
“As incidents of violence and bigotry continue to plague our world, it is essential that Eva Schloss’ story and those of other Holocaust survivors be heard and passed on to future generations,” said Rabbi Menachem Block, Chabad of Plano/Collin County. “Her personal story of tolerance, diversity and triumph reminds us life is precious and fragile; the spirit is stronger than fear; the power of good is immeasurable; and love, dignity and respect make a difference in bringing our communities together. This is an historic opportunity for our community to come together to embrace our diversity and to learn and be inspired by Eva’s message of hope and love.”
In 1938, Germany invaded Austria, causing many Jewish families to flee Austria to avoid persecution. Among the emigrants was 8-year old Eva Geiringer, who with her mother, brother, and father moved first to Belgium and then to Holland, where one of her neighbors was Anne Frank, a German Jewish girl of the same age. The two girls became friends and playmates, who passed the time by skipping, playing hopscotch and marbles, and drinking lemonade together. Ultimately, both girls and their families were deported to the Auschwitz concentration camp. Eva and her mother survived, and upon their return, were visited by their neighbor and friend Otto Frank, Anne’s father and the only one in his family to survive. Eva’s mother and Otto eventually married, making Eva Anne’s step-sister. While Anne did not survive Auschwitz, her famous diary did and was published by her father. Eva made her way to England, where she married Zvi Schloss and raised three daughters. She worked as a studio photographer and ran an antique shop and lives in London today.
Since 1985, Eva Schloss has devoted herself to holocaust education and global peace. She has recounted her wartime experiences in more than 1,000 speaking engagements. She has written two books and has had 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.
Signed copies of Schloss’ book Eva’s Story will be available for purchase for $20. Additionally, paintings by her brother Heinz Geiringer, who perished in the camps, will be on display in the lobby, and copies will be available for purchase. This world-famous artwork was painted while the family was in hiding and portrays the stunning and impactful landscape of a Holocaust family’s life in an Amsterdam attic.
During the event, Chabad of Plano/Collin County will honor Sanjiv Yajnik, President, Financial Services, Capital One, for his outstanding passion and dedication to the betterment of our communities. Yajnik also leads Capital One’s community activities throughout Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana as Regional President of the South-Central Region. As a passionate community leader, he serves on various nonprofit boards, including serving as founder and chairman of the Collin County Business Alliance (CCBA); chairman of the nationally-acclaimed Dallas Symphony Association and treasurer of the National Academy Foundation. In November 2015, Yajnik was appointed by Texas Governor Greg Abbott to be chairman of the Economic Development Corporation. “We are so pleased to honor to Sanjiv Yajnik,” said Rabbi Block. “His fostering of unity and celebrating diversity and unwavering commitment to the next generation, is helping nurture leaders of tomorrow.”
Tickets are $25 to $50, Students $10. The event is not recommended for students under 12. Teacher and military discounts are available. To purchase tickets, contact the Eisemann Center, https://www.eisemanncenter.com/event/i/6528/d/chabad-of-plano-eva-schloss and 972.744.4650. Sponsorships begin at $1,000 and include a dinner reception prior to the program, autographed book and premiere seating. For more information about the event, visit www.chabadplano.org/event or call 972-596-8270.