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Mayor Rogero Welcomes Holocaust Survivor Eva Schloss to Knoxville 
The Knoxville Civic Auditorium was packed Tuesday night for a very special event. Eva Schloss, an 87-year-old Holocaust survivor, spoke to radio host Hallerin Hilton Hill about her harrowing experiences and the lessons she’s learned. 

Mayor Rogero welcomed the audience with remarks that included the story of Sgt. Roddie Edmonds of Knoxville who was captured and imprisoned in Germany in 1944. When officers asked him to identify which imprisoned soldiers were Jewish, he said “We are all Jews here.” 

Mayor Rogero welcomes audience at Eva Schloss event

Schloss, who now lives in London, moved with her family from Austria to Amsterdam prior to start of World War II. When Germany invaded the Netherlands, the Schloss family went into hiding with help from the Dutch Resistance. She and her mother hid in one space, her father and brother in another. 

Schloss explained that because she and her mother were blond and carried fake identification cards, they had more freedom to travel in the open. Her brother and father, however, were darker—and more likely to be picked up by police—and stayed hidden. The Dutch Resistance moved each pair to different hiding places several times to avoid capture, until a double agent revealed the father and son’s location to police. Eva and her mother were discovered soon after, having been tracked back to their hiding place after a visit with the males. 

Interrogated, threatened and beaten by the Gestapo, the Schloss family huddled together in a cell, not knowing what would happen next. The last time they were all together was in a cattle car with 80 other people; they were eventually separated, and she never saw her brother or father again. 

Not all of Schloss’ recollections were emotionally devastating. She told how an 11-year-old Anne Frank, whom she knew in school for two years, was “sophisticated,” more interested in fashion and boys than Eva, who called herself a tomboy. Anne was also a non-stop talker and storyteller. She liked attention, and also received it when she performed the trick of dislocating then relocating her shoulder from her collarbone. 

Crowd at Knoxville Civic Auditorium

In addition to her presentation on Feb. 21, which the Mayor proclaimed Holocaust Education Day, Schloss spoke to 2,500 middle and high school students and helped open an exhibit of her brother Heinz’s paintings at the Knoxville Museum of Art (on display through Feb. 26). 

The event was organized by the Knoxville Jewish Day School, Tennessee Holocaust Education Commission and the East Tennessee Foundation. Check out Amy McRary's article, accompanied by video and a photo gallery, on the News Sentinel website
Posted by ptravis On 24 February, 2017 at 12:22 PM