A few weeks ago a couple of friends and I went to Knoxville to see Eva Geiringer Schloss, a holocaust survivor. She was born in Vienna Austria in 1929. Her family were Jewish. They moved to Belgium and then Holland in 1938 as Hitler had annexed Austria. In 1942 they had to go into hiding. She and her mother went to one place and her father and brother went to another. In 1944 they were betrayed and captured by the Germans. Her father and brother were killed in the camp, but she and her mother miraculously survived and were freed when the Russians came.
It was a most interesting evening! Eva travels now to speak about the holocaust as she wants to make sure people do not forget. Her father and brother to pass time while in hiding took up painting. They hid their art works under the floor boards with a letter so if they were captured they could be retrieved. Eva and her mother were able to get these paintings after the war. They had two of the originals and several prints of others on display at the Knoxville Art Museum for the month before she came. We went to the museum first to see the artworks. It was very moving. The young brother’s art showed the despair he felt, the father painted more religious type and scenery and a portrait of her mother.
She knew Anne Frank from school in Holland and after the war Anne Frank’s father and Eva’s mother married, both having lost their spouses in the camps.
The event was held at the civic auditorium and there was heavy police presence and we each had to wander and our bags searched before being admitted. I thought it was just because of terrorism and a large group meeting. Never entered my mind that it was because it was a Jewish event! The next day I read an article about how anti-semitism is on the rise and there have been many threats and attacks on Jewish community centers! That explains the security.
She was a wonderful speaker. We weren’t thrilled with the interviewer. He kept
interrupting her. She prefers a conversation type interview instead of just giving a speech. She wrote two books about her experiences. You can read about them and Eva on her website The Holocaust: A Survivor’s Tale. I found an interview from 2013 online, very much like the one we saw. This interviewer let her talk though! If you’d like to listen to her tell her story click HERE. THIS is a short interview for the news she did if you don’t want to hear the whole story. I’ve always shied away from watching programs about the holocaust or going to the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC because when I have it is so disturbing it affects me for days. But Eva said, in the short interview, something that made me re-think that. When the interviewer said some people can’t bear to see these things, Eva said, we went through it, so they should have the courage to see what happened, so that they can make sure it never happens again.
Her brother was Heinz and her father Erich. I only took photos of a few prints that Heinz did. None of the father’s paintings. Click on the photos to enlarge.
I took some shots of other art work in the museum but I’ll share them in a post by themselves. I hope you take the time to listen to Eva tell her full story. You’ll be blessed.