"This is a special opportunity to hear a first-hand account from someone whose life intersected with one of the most compelling figures in our history," says Rabbi Moshe Bryski, executive director of the Conejo Jewish Academy and Chabad of the Conejo.
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 a German Jewish girl of the same age.
The two girls became friends and playmates (though, as Schloss would say many years later, the girl was "much more grown-up and mature than me"). They passed the time by skipping, playing hopscotch and marbles and drinking lemonade that the girl's mother prepared. Ultimately, both girls and their families were deported to the Auschwitz concentration camp. Later they would become stepsisters.
Schloss survived her concentration camp experience and 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. Her stepsister did not survive Auschwitz, but kept a diary that did. Her name was Anne Frank.
Since 1985, Eva Schloss has devoted herself to holocaust education and global peace. She has recounted her wartime experiences in more than one thousand speaking engagements. She has written two books and has had a play written about her life. 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.
Through her work, Schloss joins many individuals who work tirelessly to end the violence and bigotry that continue to plague the world. Her 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.
On display during her talk will be paintings by Eva Schloss's brother, Heinz Geiringer, who painted while in hiding. He was killed in Auschwitz.
The lecture is suitable for teenagers as well as adults. Ticket prices are $18 when purchased in advance and $22 at the door. Reservations can be made by calling the Jewish Academy at 818-991-0991 or visiting www.JewishAcademy.com. A VIP package featuring priority seating and a private reception with Eva Schloss prior to the lecture is also available. VIP package ($250 sponsorship donation) includes seating and reception for a party of four. Those interested are asked to call the Conejo Jewish Academy.
Media Notice: If scheduled in advance, Eva Schloss will be available for brief interviews prior to the lecture. Media passes are available by contacting Diane Rumbaugh, 805-493-2877, firstname.lastname@example.org or Terri Rubin at 818-991-0991.