Eva Schloss, Holocaust survivor and step-sister of Anne Frank, shares her extraordinary life story with Michael Berkeley and reveals the music that has been most important to her.
Holocaust survivor Eva Schloss shares her extraordinary life story with Michael Berkeley and reveals the music that has brought her comfort, that conjures memories, and that brings her joy.
Eva Schloss was born into a happy middle-class Jewish family in Vienna in 1929, but her childhood came to an abrupt end when she was nine and had to flee with her parents and older brother to escape the Nazis.
Before going into hiding in Amsterdam Eva's family befriended Anne Frank's family, and after the war, the Frank legacy was to play a large part in her life - Eva's mother married Otto Frank and Eva and her mother worked tirelessly to promote Anne Frank's legacy through her diary.
Like the Franks, Eva's family was betrayed, and she and her mother were captured by the Gestapo on her 15th birthday and transported to the Birkenau concentration camp. They were two of only a few prisoners still alive when the camp was liberated in January 1945. Her beloved brother and father did not survive the neighbouring camp of Auschwitz.
Somehow Eva learned to live alongside the memories of those terrible years and after the war rebuilt her life in England. Now in her 80s she tours the world spreading her message of reconciliation and hope, and in 2012 she received an MBE for her work with the Anne Frank Trust and other Holocaust charities.
Eva's choices of music include Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Strauss, who take her back to her happy Viennese childhood, as well as music by Mahler through which she recalls the pain of her teenage years.
Produced by Jane Greenwood.
A Loftus production for BBC Radio 3.