Anne Frank's childhood friend, posthumous step-sister to speak in Vacaville

By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen

Posted:   01/06/2013 01:00:25 AM PST

Anne Frank's friend and posthumous stepsister Eva Schloss, shares her story at the Vacaville Performing Arts Theater on Jan. 15 in an event sponsored by Chabad of Solano County.

Schloss will present her experiences as Anne Frank's childhood friend, including accounts of how her mother, who married Anne's father Otto Frank after the war, helped him get his daughter's famed diary published.

Born Eva Geiringer in Vienna in 1929 into a middle-class Jewish family, Eva's father was a shoe manufacturer and her mother and brother played piano duets in the days before the war, she said in a 2008 interview.

After the 1938 German invasion of Austria, 8-year-old Eva and her family joined many others fleeing Austria. She, her parents and brother made their way to Belgium and then to Holland, where one of their neighbors was a German Jewish girl Eva's age. Her name was Anne Frank.

The two girls became friends and playmates.

Both families spent about two years in hiding from the Nazis who occupied most of Europe and both were eventually betrayed and deported to the Auschwitz death camp in Poland, according to published accounts.

Eva survived her concentration camp experience and made her way to England, where she married Zvi Schloss, raised three daughters, worked as a studio photographer and ran an antique shop.

Anne Frank perished in the camp, but kept a diary that lives on.

Anne's father, Otto Frank, married Eva Schloss' mother in 1953.

Since1985, Eva Schloss "has devoted herself to Holocaust education and global peace, recounting her wartime experiences in more than 1,000 speaking engagements," event sponsor Rabbi Chaim Zaklos of Chabad of Solano County said in a press release. She has written two books and a play has been written about her life, he said.

In 1999, Schloss signed the Anne Frank Peace Declaration along with United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan and the niece of Raul Wallenberg, the legendary Swedish diplomat who rescued thousands of Jews in Budapest before vanishing in the aftermath of the war, Zaklos said.

Despite her harrowing experiences, Schloss retains a positive attitude and imparts the message 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," Zaklos said.

The presentation is set for 730 p.m. at the Vacaville theater.

It's "a special opportunity to hear a firsthand account from someone whose life intersected with one of the most compelling figures in our history," Zaklos said.

If you go

What: An Historic Evening with Anne Frank's Step-sister

When: 7 p.m. Jan. 15

Where: Vacaville Performing Arts Theater, 1010 Ulatis Drive.

Tickets: $20 regular seating, $30 VIP seating and $15 for students. Available online at A special sponsorship package featuring priority seating and a private reception with Eva Schloss is also available.

Information: (707) 469-4013.