German Occupation of Holland and the Frank Family

Otto Frank and the German Entry into Austria

Fleeing Their Homeland and Being a Refugee

Life in Amsterdam before the German Occupation

Being in Hiding

Betrayal and Capture

Sent to Auschwitz

Auschwitz

Death Marches and Liberation

Being witht he Russian Army after Liberation

Returning to Holland After the War

Publishing the Diary of Anne Frank

Reflections

The Loss of So Many People

Slowly Losing ther Rights, Deportation, and Going into Hiding

Betrayal of the Frank Family

House to House Searches

Father Bargains for Elderly Couples Freedom

How Gas Chambers Operated

Anti-Semitism in Holland

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Eva Schloss begins by describing what life was like in Holland mid 1940. The German Army marched into Holland and there were 3,000 deaths soon after they arrived. It was very difficult for Jews to live there. There were posters everywhere, newspapers and radio condemning Jews. They had to go to Jewish schools. Jews were not allowed in cinemas, swimming pools, or public transport, and were not allowed to visit Christians. They had to give up their bicycles and radios and begin wearing the yellow star. They lived in fear every day. Once, the Germans came into the Jewish school and arrested everyone, so the children did not come home from school. For two years Schloss lived in fear. Many people received notices and were "called up" to a cinema, a holding place. They were then sent to Germany and killed. Many families went into hiding. This is when the Franks decided to disappear and hide in Otto Frank's office [Annotator's Note: the Frank family including Anne Frank]. In Amsterdam people built deep narrow homes because of the tax. They had an achta-house, a house behind a house. They constructed a bookcase as a secret door. They lived in fear for two years. Two women and two men knew about the family and provided them with food, books, and news. Many went into hiding on this day. The Dutch Resistance was a group the Jews relied on. They hated the Germans. In Holland, they printed the newspapers and later printed new identification cards. With ration cards they could get cigarettes, chocolates, and a new dress. No one could take Jews into hiding if they did not have ration cards from the DR [Annotator's Note: Dutch Resistance]. The Franks could not go shopping, so the couple who bought them food had to leave the city and use the Franks' ration books to not look suspicious. By 1944 meat was unavailable and bread was scarce. Everyone was hungry among the Jews in hiding. Dutch men were put into forced labor camps. Many Dutch people went into hiding. It was hard to find safe hiding places. The Frank family hid for two years, until August 1944, when they were betrayed. It is still not known who betrayed them. Their father came back after the war and tried to find out who it was. They were transported to a holding camp in Holland called Westerbork for a month then they were taken to a concentration camp. They were never told where they were going to go. They and another thousand ended up in Auschwitz. [Annotator's Note: Frank ended up at Bergen-Belsen eventually]. Luckily for everyone Anne wrote a diary for those two years. From the age of 13 to 15 she recorded everything that happened. There was young boy, Peter, whom she fell in love with. She still had a wonderful relationship, which was her last in her short life. Food was difficult to obtain, so people were hungry. One person who lived there was a smoker and could not get cigarettes so he was often in a bad mood. With eight people, they got on each other's nerves. Schloss feels that Anna was opinionated and didn't hide her emotions so she had several quarrels with her mother, and Mrs. Van Daan, and with the dentist with whom she had to share a room.

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The only person who returned from the concentration camps was Otto Frank. It is amazing he was able to survive. He became Eva Schloss's stepfather because her mother married Otto and she heard a lot about what life was like in the annex. Schloss says he was an amazing father to Margot and Anna. He became the grandfather to her children and he was wonderful to them. He told them bedtime stories and changed their diapers. While in hiding, Otto Frank educated the girls. He read them Dickens and taught them math and history. Many of Anne's opinions in her diary are on politics and women's rights; all of this she was able to discuss with him. Schloss feels Anne was lucky to hide with such a wonderful person. Growing up in Vienna, Austria, Schloss's family had been there for many generations and was not religious. They were more Austrian than Jewish. She had an extended family; her second cousins were all in the neighborhood. Vienna is a beautiful city with mountains and lakes nearby. Her family went on excursions and picnics, went skiing, went to Italy and to the sea. Life was wonderful. They lived in a big home but moved to a smaller one. Her father inherited a shoe factory from his father. Schloss had great relationships with her brother and parents. This collapsed suddenly when Germany marched into Vienna. She was nine years old. Her parents and grandparents were very anxious and listened to the radio. They were children though, so they did not kno much and thier parents protected them. It changed in March 1938 when the German Army marched into Austria. Hitler promised the German people, and extended it to Austrians, that they would become the biggest empire in Europe. The Austrians loved it. He was welcomed in Austria. He was an Austrian himself. When he came to Vienna in his open car, people stood on the street, shouting "Heil Hitler" and throwing flowers; people had flags with swastikas. Schloss said Jews stayed behind closed windows. Life changed drastically. Her first experience with anti-semitism was when she wanted to play with a school friend who was not Jewish. She went to her home and her mother told her that she was not welcome there anymore and slammed the door in her face. Schloss went home crying. She did not understand. Her mother explained that life was going to be very difficult for them.

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Eva Schloss had many Christian friends and nobody really minded what religion one was. Anti-semitism was not open and she had not experienced it at all. They knew Hitler was outside and were very scared. Anti-semitism in Austria was less organized. People knew who the Jews were. There was compulsory religious educatio so the Catholics stayed in the classroom and the Jews would leave the class and were taken to a different classroom for Jewish education. No one minded and it was not a problem. Eventually, the Catholics did not want to sit next to them or be their friends. Schloss's brother got attacked by his friends. The teachers did nothing. Jews' beards were cut. Jews had to clean the pavement. But this wasn't organized. People started to be deported. In late 1938, 1939 and 1940, there were no more Jews. The whole population disappeared. Her family left by then, but she lost many relatives who could not get out. The youngest of her relatives was a cousin of three years old. Her father left for England to try to get visas for his wife and little girl. It was difficult and by the time he got them they had been deported. Schloss's family left [Annotator's Note: left Austria] because of the persecution. They knew of the danger. It had been going on for years and was expected. Her parents planned for their departure. Her father had a shoe factory and in Holland the shoe industry was not doing well. He exported shoes to Holland and had connections. Only half his export money came back to him, he created a bank account with the rest. They had to leave with a little suitcase with small personal items, no jewelry or money. This was a way for her father to go into business. He became a partner with an ailing shoe factory and worked to build up the business there. He was a very good businessman. He did well immediately. He wanted to find a place for them to live first, but did not realize it would become impossible for them to leave. When Schloss wanted to leave they could not get a visa. They had to go to Belgium and cross over illegally, like Mexicans in the United States. As a child, Schloss thought she was being adventurous. She understands that she didn't know the danger, that she could have been shot or deported. It was hard for many to decide. They did not have the courage to start a new life if they were elderly when they knew no one and did not know the language. Schloss states that now [Annotator's Note: current social organizations that help immigrants assimilate in new countries] there is help and advice. At that time, nothing like that was organized so they had to stand on their own two feet. They were living in a small boarding house in Belgium in two rooms; her mother in one, and her brother and her in another. Schloss's mother had no kitchen and did not shop. It was frustrating for her. She did not speak French but her mother and brother did. It was very difficult for her. People in Belgium did not know how to handle a refugee child. They put her in the back of class and took no notice of her. She didn't follow what was going on. No one spoke to her. She became very shy and frustrated. She used to be open and happy but her character changed. She eventually started to make friends once she learned the language. Her father continued to live in Holland and would visit them on weekends. Her only relief was when they were together as a family. On her tenth birthday, she asked if she could have a party and if her friends could come. She made invitations for them. All the girls brought notes from their parents saying they were not allowed to come to her party. Schloss cried. Her mother said, as Jewish refugees, they did not want to know them.

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Hitler had invaded Czechoslovakia and Poland and the Allies declared war in October 1939 [Annotator's Note: Britain and France declared war on Germany in September 1939]. Eva Schloss's father tried to get a visiting permit for them to visit him. He was worried about the borders during the war. They finally got a visa and visited him for three months. Schloss moved to Amsterdam. They lived on a big square called Rembrandtplein. Her father took a furnished apartment. Dutch school and children were different. The Dutch had many refugees by 1940. It was a port so there were many people from different counties; they were used to foreigners. Schloss was happy there. The language is French and Flemish. She could speak a little Dutch so it was not too difficult. They had a nice apartment and she was again with her family. But it did not last long. By May [Annotator's Note: May 1940], the Germans invaded the Netherlands. Schloss has pictures of them on the square before the occupation; children after school would play there. This is how Schloss met Anne Frank. She was one month younger than her. They weren't best friends, because her personality was different than Schloss'. Schloss was a tomboy and not an intellectual. She wasn't into reading. She enjoyed playing baseball with the boys. She was always chosen first on the team. She had confidence. Anne sometimes played but sometimes the girls played separately. They played hop scotch and other girls' games. They'd gossip and talk about boys. Frank was quite jealous that Schloss had boys coming to her house because of her brother, and Anne only had a sister. Anne was very interested in her hairstyles. She changed them often. Another little girl, Suzanne Littleman, was Anne's friend; she was very pretty with long plaits. Hannah also was good friends with them. Schloss had a crush on Suzanne. They lived happily for those months until the Germans invaded Holland. The Dutch did not want to be occupied; they were very independent. Schloss explained that this was why so many Jews tried to get to Holland, because in the First World War, the Germans didn't get there, it was neutral. The Germans occupied Belgium and France. The Dutch flooded their country. They opened the dykes and the German vehicles couldn't enter. The Dutch claimed they were going to flood out the Germans again. But warfare changed this time around. They came with planes and parachutes. They landed behind the waterline and the Dutch were not prepared. They bombed Rotterdam. The Germans warned that if the Dutch did not comply they were going to bomb all their cities. The Dutch royalty fled and the people felt betrayed by this, so an armistice was signed and they marched in. There were no flags displayed in Holland, but there was a big Nazi party there nonetheless. They put Seyss-Inquart [Annotator's Note: Arthur Seyss-Inquart, Reichskommissar for the Occupied Netherlands] in power. He was a good leader in a way. He organized the Dutch Nazi party. It was very strict and difficult regime for the Dutch and Jewish people. When the Dutch started to form a resistance, two groups emerged; the Dutch Resistance and the Nazis.

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Eva Schloss's family's hiding was different. They didn't have an office in Amsterdam that depended on Christian people in the Resistance. They risked their life to take in Jewish people. Schloss feels that those were the brave people, those who took Jews in and helped them. Many people lived in apartments during this time so nobody could to take in four people. Schloss's family had to split up. She stayed with her mother and her father and brother went elsewhere. Her father and brother never went out, only when they had to change hiding places. Her mother and she had fake identification cards made by the Resistance. They were not very good at first but became better later on. Schloss' said she was Christian. They would go out to visit her brother and father. They took a lot of risks. If she would have had to show her ID card she would have been arrested. She was lucky. She had to change hiding locations several times because the Nazis knew the Jews had disappeared and they tried to find them. The Nazis did house searches. They would come with trucks and knock on doors. People had no rights. Schloss compares this with America, stating that if this happened, people would not let them in. But there, they had to let them in or they would shoot them. In most places, Schloss had to have a hiding place within a hiding place. They were staying with a school teacher. She had a little apartment. The second floor had two little rooms and a bathroom. They had those two rooms and her mother slept on the couch. In the bathroom, they created a partisan from the toilet and tiled it, made a trap door so they could sneak in, and put a door with tiles so it wouldn't be noticed. The Dutch Resistance brought in the materials and tiled everything. The men worked late to finish this. By midnight she heard the trucks and the knocking and quickly jumped into the little space. She recalled that she could smell the building materials; the new smell. She could see the little space so it wasn't fool proof. They heard them come up the stairs and Schloss thought the Nazis would know, but somehow they didn't. They heard them walking down the stairs and the door slam. This happened often. After nine months or so, the teacher couldn't take the tension and said they had to move on. In two years, she moved to seven different places. In the last place, they didn't have a hiding place in a hiding place. This was when they were betrayed. The Germans were near the Dutch palace. They had been in the hiding place for about nine months. The woman hiding them started to blackmail her father for more money, for the risks she took. She recalls that many people wanted to make money off the situation. A majority of people hid out of principle, but this woman thought the war would be over soon and needed more capital. Her father didn't have much money, but bought jewelry that was easy to keep and take into hiding. He sold a lot and didn't have a lot left. They tried to contact the Dutch Resistance to get a new hiding place.

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It was difficult for Eva Schloss and her family to find safe houses. Not many people wanted to take the risks anymore. A Dutch nurse came forward with a new house, so her father and brother escaped at night from the blackmailing woman. Her brother bleached his hair, so he wouldn't be obvious. They also took a great risk with no identification cards and were very lucky. They met the nurse at the station and went to the safe house on a Sunday. Schloss and her mother weren't far from them now so they went to visit them for the evening. The nurse was a double agent, not part of the Dutch Resistance. She helped people so the Jews would trust her but she was really a Nazi. The Nazis knew where she and her mother were hiding then also, so all four of them were arrested. It was very quick. An elderly couple with a young son were hiding Schloss and her mother. When the son heard the Germans coming, he escaped over the roof. They would have taken him too. They were stunned and couldn't escape. They took them to headquarters where she saw her father and brother and knew what had happened. They were all interrogated. Schloss was the youngest so they thought she would give away what they wanted to know about the Dutch Resistance. They wanted to know their names [Annotator's Note: the real names of members of the Dutch Resistance]. She didn't know where they lived or their real names so she didn't give away anything. They said they'd beat her if she didn't say, but she didn't know anything. They beat her and slapped her. The SS men beat her with sticks. It was her fifteenth birthday. It lasted about a half an hour and they realized if she knew she would have told by now. The elderly couple that hid them wouldn't have survived a camp. Very often those people died. Schloss's father was a clever and wonderful person and said to the Germans that he would tell them where they had some jewelry if they let the elderly couple free. Her mother had a powder compact and in the compact she had hidden a diamond watch and ring. The SS sent her mother back to the house to pick up the powder box. He opened it, and saw the jewelry which he pocketed and sent the old couple back home. They were taken to a local prison with hundreds of people. There were no toilets and no food. There was a pregnant woman there who gave birth. Another woman was asthmatic. Children and babies were there. It was terrible. They were taken to a holding camp, Westerbork. The Germans took gays, gypsies, black people, Jehovah's Witness, and communists. There were 500 gypsies in this holding camp with Schloss's family. By Friday a transport was going, and they were put on the list to be transported to the east with the gypsies. About 2,000 people in total. They were put on cattle trains with big iron doors. There were two sides with very narrow slits, with barbed wire; it was dark and especially so when so many people were there. There was not enough room for everyone to sit so some sit and some stood. The doors were closed and bolted up.

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They were not told where they going or how long the journey was. This was the last time Eva Schloss was together with her family, on the train in May 1944. People were desperate on the train; there were two buckets, one for drinking water and one for toilets. The smell was terrible. Somebody died and there was no way to get them out. Her father apologized to his family for not being able to protect them anymore. It was sad. He tried everything to keep them safe, but he realized he was powerless. Her father told them to try to keep clean, wash their hands as much as they can. He said it was important to do everything they're told. Obey and nothing will happen. To keep hope was the only thing they could do, to hope the Nazis were not going to kill them. They had a lot of doubt, but didn't want anyone to know. They knew about the death camps. The Germans only talked about victories, so they didn't know about the losses like Stalingrad and South Africa [Annotator's Note: Schloss probably means the North African campaign]. The British sent out much more valid news. The BBC had broadcasts at nine at night. Hidden in cupboards, they listened and were always told about death camps, concentration camps and the gas chambers in Auschwitz. Schloss didn't know where they were going but knew it was a concentration camp. After three or four days, the doors were opened, the buckets were exchanged and they received bread. The Nazis threw it at them and, like wild beasts, they tried to tear it apart and get chunks of it. Sometimes the train stopped, and they had to hand over rings, jewelry and watches, and the Nazis took it and pocked it all as private property. Some people threw it out of the little space before they had to hand it over. Some people wrote little notes; some of those notes have been retrieved. Sometimes the train would stop and it was really unbearable because they didn't get air in. Once it finally stopped they heard barking dogs and a command in German to jump down. It was a relief to get fresh air and stretch but then they saw the sign, Auschwitz, and they knew it was the worst of the death camps. Schloss knew that they would be killed. It's human nature, as long as there is life there is hope. She knew this would be their last day on earth. The next command was men and women on different sides. This was the last time she saw her brother. The SS put everyone in rows of five so it was easy for them to keep an eye on things. She marched forward and was looked over. She didn't know what the sides meant. Her mother gave her her hat and coat. She thought she could keep it and use it later. Her mother said later, she didn't know why she did that; a voice inside said she should give it to her daughter. That was a selection, no young or old were going into the camp. It went by looks, not by age. From 15 to 40 one was allowed. They never told their age. Because Schloss had her mother's hat on, they didn't see how young she actually was so she passed to the right side. They passed selection, she and her mother had to undress and all their belongings were taken away, but that hat saved her life that time.

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[Annotator's Note: Eva Schloss is an Austrian born Jew who fled to Amsterdam with her family after the Nazis came to power. They went into hiding after the Germans occupied Holland and hid for two years before being betrayed, captured and sent to Auschwitz.] At the first selection, no child entered the camp nor any old persons from 40 onward [Annotator's Note: at the Auschwitz concentration camp]. Many looked worn out. The SS were tricky. They would say they had trucks who could take them into the camp if they couldn't make it, so many would get on the truck, but it was trick. They'd be killed immediately. The people who walked to the left side were immediately taken into the gas chambers also. Schloss recalled a mother and a toddler, and the child was given to an elderly woman who said she'd look after the child but they were taken to the gas chamber immediately. They walked into barracks and went through a process of registration. The Germans kept excellent records. This is why it's amazing that Holocaust deniers can say it never happened. All the documents are now in Auschwitz for people to see. They were documented and tattooed. Schloss's number is 85272. She has a crossed out number. It was originally 85222 but they realized that someone had slipped up a number. They had to be so accurate so her whole transport had to be recalled and re-tattooed. There was just one number wrong on her. Everyone else had to scratch out their number with a new number. She never met another person who has such an altered number on their arm which shows there were no survivors from her transport. All their heads were shaved. This took many hours. They received nothing to drink and it was very hot. Many fainted, and the people who were cutting their hair told them not to faint or they'd be gassed. They tried to prop up the people who had fainted so they didn't get gassed. She heard stories about families separated. Some inmates were herded in a barrack and told to undress, given a towel and bar of soap, and went into showers that looked like barracks with low ceilings with pipes. People would wait for the water to come out and couldn't understand why the water didn't come. Then they'd feel dizzy and faint because of the poison gas. There were peep holes in the ceiling so the Nazis could watch until everyone fell to the ground to make sure everyone was down. The desk commander would make inmates take out the dead bodies. It was a very quick process, within an hour of arriving those people were dead. There were big chimneys, where they could smell the burning flesh. Schloss knew the smell. They smelled it day and night in the camp and knew what was happening. The fear of dying was constant.

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There was cholera, dysentery and skin illnesses [Annotator's Note: inside the Auschwitz concentration camp]. Eva Schloss had head and body lice. She was covered in them, it was unbearable. The itching and scratching became open wounds and they would get sores. There was no way of cleaning it treating it. The food was a cup of liquid and a chunk of bread. Only through hope and mental effort of thinking they would get through it could they survive. When she saw the film [Annotator's Note: probably discussing actual footage of the camps], she can't believe she was able to live through that and survive as a 15 year old child. It was miracle. They lived like that for nine months. By that time it was mid-winter and extremely cold. Schloss had frost bite on her toes and open wounds. Sometimes she didn't have shoes. In October [Annotator's Note: October 1944], the Nazis dynamited the gas chambers so there was no more gassing, although many still died of sickness. The Nazis took many inmates to other camps. They were death marches. Many were shot on the roadside, many collapsed and died. Her father and brother were marched to Mauthausen. They survived the march. The Red Cross later told her and her mother that her father and brother both perished days before liberation of the Mauthausen camp. Her father was 45 years old and very strong, mentally and physically. She thinks that after his son died, he just gave up living. Schloss and her mother did not go on the marches. They did not want to stay because rumors spread that when the Germans left they were going to lock up the barracks and burn the place down so there would be no survivors. They went to Birkenau [Annotator's Note: a women's camp that was part of Auschwitz]. This was lucky, because she didn't have to wait until the end of the war. They were liberated four months earlier than the end of the war. The Russians freed them. Liberation day they were in Birkenau. It was a women's camp. A, B, C, and D [Annotator's Note: sections of the camp] were surrounded by electrified barbed wire. Her mother and her were in a camp called the hospital camp, but it wasn't a hospital. People were dying from exhaustion, starvation and illness. If they couldn't work they were taken to the hospital camp, put in bunks and fed a little. There was no medical treatment. Her mother went there and she had bad frost bite, so she was together with her mother. All the other barracks were cleared. Some SS were still there, some had left already. There were air raids because the Russians were bombing around them. The Germans didn't want to march with the planes overhead. They had them out several times a day to march. Schloss and her mother wanted to march so they would not be burned alive. It went on for many days. Then, one evening, the Nazis called everyone out. Her mother was very weak. Schloss said that she thought they should not go out for this march since they probably would not march anyway. In the morning they woke up, everyone had gone. Some of the inmates had left the camp with the Germans. About 300 of them were left that couldn't get down from the bunks. That, for Schloss, was freedom. They could walk out, the gates were open. She didn't know who was outside, or what anyone would do. For ten days they were on their own. Many died. She helped bring out the dead bodies. There was no way to bury them. They had no tools and the ground was frozen so they heaped them outside the barracks.

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[Annotator's Note: Eva Schloss is an Austrian born Jew who fled to Amsterdam with her family after the Nazis came to power. They went into hiding after the Germans occupied Holland and hid for two years before being betrayed, captured and sent to Auschwitz.] At the gate they saw a huge creature, wrapped in icicles, completely frozen [Annotator's Note: after the Germans left Auschwitz Concentration Camp]. They thought it was bear, but it was a human being. It was the first Russian soldier in the camp. She took him to show him the barracks. This big man had tears running down his cheeks looking at everything. He couldn't speak to them, since they didn't speak the same language, but he let them know that although he couldn't do anything, more help was coming. People came and fed them and cooked soup with beans and cabbage. It was not very easy to digest since they didn't have food for so long. Their bodies couldn't handle it and many died. They shot a horse and made a stew of it. Four of them had gone outside the camp to a German barrack. They found wood and a stove and cooked there. A Polish woman got the knife and carved the horse from the middle. It turned out the horse was pregnant and the Russians killed it because they couldn't take a pregnant horse into battle. They ate it. The whole night, Schloss had diarrhea. Her mother told her to eat carefully in little bites, but they were so hungry they didn't care. Some of them decided to go to the main Auschwitz camp to find loved ones. Schloss tried to find her father and brother. By this time, the Russians had their headquarters there and it was organized. It was supposed to be liberation but it wasn't like that all. There was confusion about their future, what was going to happen and they were still getting sick. It was acknowledged that the Germans were gone but they didn't know if this was the end. There was no partying. There was fierce fighting and battles going on near the camp. At one point, the Germans came near to conquering Auschwitz again. The Russians decided not leave the prisoners but to take them eastward. When they went to look for her father and brother, they weren't there, but she and her mother saw two people they knew in Amsterdam. One man was Mr. Hersh and the other was Otto Frank, Anne's father. He was left behind on transport because he chose not go. He went with them on the whole journey back to Holland. Once the Russians left, more people joined their transports, prisoners of war, Americans, Australians, Italians and French; it became an international transport. They lost sight of Otto Frank. They spent four months on the road on cattle trucks, but the doors were open and they got a stove to burn wood and make food. The Russians gave them Russian uniforms to wear. They provided for them in any way they could. Once, in the middle of the night, the Russian army asked for help to peel potatoes for the Russian front that needed to be fed. They gave them knives and they helped peel potatoes to eat. Everyone got into a big circle and danced and sang. The young soldiers went in the morning to fight the Germans and many died.

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Eva Schloss feels that they were wonderful people [Annotator's Note: the Russian soldiers after her liberation from Auschwitz concentration camp]. One can't judge a government by the people. They loved Stalin but they also had pictures of their families. With many Jewish Russian soldiers, Schloss and her mother could speak Yiddish, or at least German. Some soldiers were boys they picked up through the death marches. There were people who had lost everything and decided to join the Russian Army and go into Germany to avenge their families. These men did horrible things in Germany. In May [Annotator's Note: 1945] they were in Odessa [Annotator's Note: Odessa, Ukraine] in a palace, or a shell of a palace. They got fed, and waited for the end of the war. The prisoners of war got passes from the Red Cross, they got chocolate and cigarettes. Concentration camp survivors didn't get anything. The president of the Red Cross at the time was a Nazi sympathizer. The Red Cross never came to visit Auschwitz. The camp they visited was set up to look wonderful, with an orchestra and food. Once they left it was set back to a concentration camp. The end of the war was near. The Germans had retreated everywhere. The Russians told them what was going on, so they knew it would end soon. It ended with Hitler committing suicide and an armistice was signed. Everyone in Odessa had a big celebration. They brought people from the local opera in to perform for them. They all sat on the floor and they gave a wonderful performance. That's when she realized they had survived. It was a wonderful relief but everyone was anxious to get home to find out what happened to their families. Otto Frank was alone and very anxious to hear. He met someone on the transport that told him his wife had died but he had hope for his daughters. He thought they might have survived those few months at Auschwitz. At the time, they didn't know about the death marches so they were hopeful the Schloss family had survived also. They were transported westward to drop of the Italians and French, then traveled up through France to the Dutch border. Schloss could not enter Holland because all the bridges were damaged. Holland had seen fierce fighting, it was awful because the Germans still remained in occupation up until the end and there was terrible destruction and hunger. They couldn't enter Holland for several weeks. When people were arrested or went into hiding there was a Dutch Removal Firm called Pulst [Annotator's Note: unsure of spelling] and everything was taken out and rented. The woman who owned their furnished apartment allowed them to come back. Many people didn't have a place to go. One can imagine how hard it was to return. Otto Frank went to live with Miep Geis, a helper of theirs. Schloss and her mother received a letter from the Red Cross about the deaths of her father and brother.

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[Annotator's Note: Eva Schloss is an Austrian born Jew who fled to Amsterdam with her family after the Nazis came to power. They went into hiding after the Germans occupied Holland and hid for two years before being betrayed, captured and sent to Auschwitz. After the camp was liberated by Russian Forces, she and her mother returned to Holland.] Otto Frank went to live with one of his helpers [Annotator's Note: in Holland after surviving the Auschwitz Concentration Camp]. After several weeks they received word from the Red Cross that members of their family were killed at Mauthausen. Her brother would have been 18. Otto came to Schloss's home to give them the bad news that both of his daughters had died. He was 57 at the time and a broken person. He realized that he had Anne's diary. Her diary was compiled very loosely. Meip Geis went upstairs after the Franks' were taken in and took Anne's diary. When Schloss saw the diary it was in rough shape. Pages were coming out and it was actually compiled in a few different books. The diary was given to Otto. The writings of the diary helped to keep Otto alive in a way. He realized that it was an incredibly valuable document. At first he decided not to publish it but he showed it to a Dutch history professor, Professor Romein. He convinced Otto to publish it. In 1947 it was hard to find a publisher to do it. He found a Catholic Dutch publisher who agreed to publish it. Otto was told that he had to edit it because it had what was considered inappropriate material at the time. An example would be how Anne Frank talks about getting her period. A Dutch Catholic publisher did not want that kind of information to come out. Otto did not want the world to know about some of the personal struggles that Anne talks about. In 1952 it was published in America and became an immediate best seller. It is not really a Holocaust book but rather a personal account of living under German occupation. Otto married Schloss's mom in 1953. They spent a good amount of time answering people's letters and questions regarding Anne Frank's diary. Schloss thought it was touching that children of former Nazi's wrote Otto discussing the diary. Otto made many friends; people would come to visit just to talk to Otto. It became a very profitable business selling the diary. Otto donated alot of the money into charities. He always thought that it was Anne's money and not his. He donated a lot of the money to Israel and for the promotion of the book. It was always in the back of his mind to promote what happened in order to educate the world. Otto realized that not everyone in Germany was bad.

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Eva Schloss believes it is important to study World War 2 because of the immensity of the conflict and the diversity of the stories. Schloss believes it is important to remember the amount of civilian casualties that occurred during the war. It is important to get this information down so that people will be able to learn about their families. People are much more interested in knowing their family history today because it is easy to do. Schloss believes it is important that people learn about World War 2 because it informs them about their past. She believes that people need to unite to fight things such as racial bigotry and hatred. She hopes that one day people will grow up not knowing war. Schloss has spoken to people all over the world. She thinks it is important for young people to know what happened because it changed the history of the world. Schloss feels that it is very important that the Jewish people got their own country. If prejudice every happens again with Jewish people where they cannot immigrate, they will have Israel where they can always immigrate; the doors will always be open to them. The creation of Israel unfortunately caused a lot of strife in the Middle East. She believes that Jewish people will fight to the last man over Israel. She believes that it is important to tell people what happened and why; that history changes life. Since the Holocaust, Jewish people have spread all over the world. Schloss lives in England. Her kids have no cousins, aunts, or uncles because they were killed or her distant relatives live all over the world.

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Eva Schloss lost her father and her brother. Her brother was a very talented young man, he was a great musician. She characterizes her brother as a genius. He could paint and write poetry. He taught himself seven languages when he was in hiding. Schloss feels bad that so many people could of contributed to the world had they not been killed. Twenty Jewish people who survived the Holocaust were awarded Nobel Prizes. Schloss can only wonder how many more out of the six million Jews that were killed could have won the award. She believes that we cannot tolerate hate and that life is incredibly beautiful. She believes that we must give every human being the chance to live and to build for the future.

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[Annotator's Note: Eva Schloss is an Austrian born Jew who fled to Amsterdam with her family after the Nazis came to power.] It was hard to know who was who because the Dutch Resistance were not allowed to be out in the open and the Nazis tried to infiltrate them with their spy system. It was hard to get in touch with the real Dutch Resistance. There was a German Nazi organization and they organized things pretty quickly. The Nazis were very clever. Danger was not immediate; it was little measures every week, and Jews agreed to live with the limitations on them. Eventually it became more and more difficult until the end when it was completely impossible to exist as a Jew in any occupied country. There was no public transport but they still had their bicycles. Schloss couldn't go out in mornings or evenings. Jews couldn't visit Christians, but would still meet them in public places like cafes until the Nazis forbid Jews from going to public places and they had to hand in their bicycles. Jews were not allowed to have radios so they couldn't hear any news. Life became difficult. They had to wear the yellow star so people knew who was a Jew. By 1941 they arrested 5,000 to 6,000 Jewish men in the street. Everyone with a star was put on truck and deported and never heard from again. In February, the Dutch rebelled [Annotator's Note: The Strike of February 1941]. The Nazis took hostages and said if the Dutch did not go back to work they would kill the hostages, so everyone went back to work. When they had to wear the yellow star, many non-Jewish Dutch wore the star to confuse the Nazis, and when arrested they'd say they weren't Jewish. The J was stamped on passports. This idea originated from the Swiss. Many tourists went to Switzerland. The Swiss didn't mind the Germans or Austrians, but they didn't want the Jews to stay, so they put a J on their passports to distinguish who they were. All of Schloss's family's passports were stamped with a J. She lost her Austrian nationality when they became occupied. They had to get new German passports which they didn't want for obvious reasons. Later in Holland, she lost any nationality and became stateless. According to the Geneva conference, her and other Jews with similar problems had no country to protect them with no rights whatsoever. Schloss knew what the star was for. The stars were written in the language of the wearer. Hers said, "Jew" in Dutch. Schloss was very stubborn as a little girl and didn't want to wear it. Her mother explained that they had to or they'd be picked up and taken to a camp so she wore it. They all did. By July 1942, many young people between 16 and 25 got a call up notice to report to a certain place to be deported to a German work camp. The Germans blackmailed them saying that if they did not send their kids they would arrest the whole family. Many parents decided to send their children to the work camps since they felt they didn't have a choice. After two or three years of war the Germans needed workers and since the kids were healthy and young the Germans had them work in factories. Only later did they find out they were sent to Mauthausen, an Austrian camp, with stone quarries and the kids were thrown down from the cliffs. Margot, Anne Frank's sister, and Schloss's brother Hans got this call up notice. Many went to this meeting; many Jewish families went into hiding on this same day. Schloss's family fled with her brother and her.

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