Barbara Powers

The Promise
  • The Promise

  • Holocaust survivor Eva Schloss retells her own story specially for younger readers.

    This is the remarkable true story of a young Jewish girl and her brother caught in a world turned upside down by the Nazis during the Second World War. Eva Schloss describes her happy early childhood in Vienna with her kind and loving parents and her older brother Heinz, whom she adored. But when the Nazis marched into Austria everything changed.

    Eva's family fled to Belgium, then to Amsterdam where, with the help of the Dutch Resistance, they spent the next two years in hiding - Eva and her mother in one house, and her father and brother in another. But in the end they were all betrayed and deported to Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland. Despite the horrors of the camp, Eva's positive attitude and stubborn personality (which had often got her into trouble) saw her through one of the most tragic events in history but sadly her father and brother perished just weeks before the liberation. Eva and her mother travelled back to the house in Amsterdam where Heinz and his father had hidden. There they found over thirty beautiful paintings by her brother. For Eva, here was a tangible, everlasting memory of her beloved older brother, and a reminder of her father's promise that all the good things you accomplish will make a difference.

    Heinz's paintings have been on display in exhibitions in the USA and are now a part of a permanent exhibition in Amsterdam's war museum.

    Eva Schloss is the posthumous step-sister of Anne Frank, after her mother was remarried to Otto Frank, the only surviving member of his immediate family.

Eva Schloss was born in Vienna in 1929. She was arrested by the Nazis on her 15th birthday and sent to Auschwitz concentration camp where she survived with her mother Fritzi. After the war Eva became a professional photographer and later opened an antiques shop in North London. She co-founded the Anne Frank Trust in 1990 and regularly visits schools, universities, prisons and other institutions to talk about her experiences during the Holocaust and the perils of intolerance. A play, 'And Then They Came for Me: Remembering the World of Anne Frank' by James Still deals with the lives of Eva and her posthumous step-sister, Anne Frank and other teenagers in the Holocaust. It has been performed all over the USA and in many other countries including a performance by children and young people in London in 2005 to mark the liberation of Auschwitz. In 2012 Eva was awarded an MBE for her work with the Anne Frank Trust and other Holocaust charities.

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