TARRYTOWN, N.Y. -- Eva Schloss and Anne Frank became friends when they moved to Amsterdam after the Nazis invaded their home countries.
Schloss was a self-proclaimed tomboy who liked sports, and Frank a “sophisticated" "chatterbox" who liked boys.
“Unfortunately after both our families went into hiding, we never saw each other again,” said Schloss, now in her 80s, before a packed ballroom at the DoubleTree in Tarrytown.
Schloss was invited to speak about her experience as a survivor of the Holocaust by the Chabad Centers of Westchester County. The event was moderated by John Metaxas, an award winning reporter and anchor who has worked for CBS, ABC and CNN.
“It is important for our world to hear what hatred and anti-Semitism can lead to,” said Eric Grossfeld, director of operations at Chabad of the Rivertowns.
Anne Frank, whose diary was found after the war and became an international best seller, perished in a concentration camp with her mother and sister. Her father, Otto Frank, survived and after the war he married Schloss’ mother.
Schloss said the only reason she got through one of the most horrific events in world history was because she never gave up hope.
She remembers when the rights of Jews were gradually stripped away. Then Jews were forced to wear yellow stars and people just began disappearing.
The Schloss family went into hiding and was eventually betrayed by one of the woman hiding them. They were arrested, beaten and taken to Auschwitz.
“We knew what it meant,” said Schloss.
The family knew from the radio that this was one of the most horrifying Nazi concentration camp. There she had her head shaved and was tattooed. She witnessed women and children being systematically gassed, as well as people dying in the night around her.
“They told us we were not human beings, we were like cattle with a number,” Schloss recalls. “You can imagine the screaming and shouting and crying when a woman was separated from her child. It was terrible.”
The Russians liberated Schloss and her mother from the camp; however, her father and brother did not survive.
About 11 million people were killed during the Holocaust, which means "sacrifice by fire," according to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Six million of them were Jews, in addition to Roma, Slavs, Poles, homosexuals, political dissidents, dissenting clergy, individuals with physical or mental disabilities, Jehovah’s Witnesses and others.
All because Nazis felt they were "racially superior."
“Eva is a courageous individual who works tirelessly to end the violence and bigotry that continues to plague our world,” said Rabbi Bendy Silverman, of Chabad of the Rivertowns. “We are honored and excited to play host to this great person.
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