TRINITY — It is one thing to live through history. It is another thing to survive it.
Survive is what Eva Schloss did as her family was captured by the Germans and placed in the Auschwitz concentration camp, in 1944.
Her father and brother were killed in the infamous death camp the Nazis ran in occupied Poland, but Eva and her mother, Elfriede Markovits Geiringer, barely made it out alive when Soviet Red Army troops freed the camp’s captives in 1945.
The two moved to Amsterdam, where Schloss’s mother renewed a friendship with Otto Frank, who had just lost his wife and children.
One of Frank’s children left behind a diary of her experiences during that tragic era. Her name, now world-famous, was Anne Frank.
And it was Eva who helped encourage publication of what became “The Diary of Ann Frank” to help ensure the world would never forget such atrocities — and never let them happen again.
It is also for that reason the 90-year-old Schloss will visit Pasco County on March 23 to share an evening of stories and memories of those years with her famous stepsister.
Schloss’ visit is being sponsored by the Chabad Jewish Center of West Pasco. Its leader, Rabbi Yossi Eber, said getting the chance to play host to Schloss and hear her personal memories was an opportunity that could not be passed up.
“A couple months ago, I saw a study about Pasco County which said the suicide rate here is very high and drug use as well,” Eber said, “I was thinking what can I do outside of the synagogue to inspire people and to give people hope — to let them know there is a light at the end of the tunnel.”
Eber had recently been contact by Schloss’ representative to inquire if the local Hasidic Judaism synagogue would be interested in having her appear.
“This is a very, very rare opportunity,” Eber said. “I was thinking a woman that went through the Holocaust, lost part of her family, lost her friends, lost her entire life that she lived as a child, picked herself up, and got herself back together would be a great story for people to hear about hope and rebirth.”
Eber said Schloss, who lives in London, did not make such appearances for many years after the Holocaust.
It wasn’t until her stepfather passed away that she began her speaking tours, he said. Otto Frank died in 1980. Her husband, Zvi Schloss, died in 2016.
Eber said it is also a significant visit since it coincides with the 75th anniversary of her liberation from Auschwitz. “She is traveling here from England just to share her stories.”
“I am thinking here we have a community that can learn and be inspired by her,” he added. “I think that’s a good thing.”
“An Intimate Evening with Eva Schloss” will be presented March 23 at the Center for the Arts at River Ridge, 11646 Town Center Road, New Port Richey.
The event begins at 7 p.m.
Special V.I.P. seating and reception packages are also available.
For tickets, call 727-376-3366 or visit the website at www.ChabadWP.com/AnneFrank.