Anne Frank’s step-sister told pupils at Streatham & Clapham High School that she only survived Auschwitz because of the chance kindness of a stranger. When the then 15-year-old Eva Schloss arrived at the Nazi concentration camp with her mother, a stranger’s gift of a lady’s coat with a hood disguised Schloss and spared her from the gas chambers.
Schloss, now aged 90 and living in London, has dedicated her later life to keeping the memory of Anne Frank alive and informing younger generations about the Holocaust.
Speaking for nearly two hours at the GDST school, Schloss gave a moving and personal account to her audience of girls – many of whom were a similar age to her when she was taken to Auschwitz. She spoke about how she grew up in the same Amsterdam apartment block as Anne Frank and the girls played together between the ages of 11 and 13. How her family were betrayed by a Nazi spy, how her mother married Anne Frank’s father Otto after the war, and how she came to London as a refugee.
Schloss told the girls to talk about their problems and difficulties and to stand up and fight prejudice and discrimination wherever they encounter it. She also held a private audience with school’s Head Girl, Halimah Salami and Hannah Webb, one of Streatham & Clapham’s Holocaust Education Trust pupil ambassadors.