From holograms to Justin Bieber, Anne Frank’s stepsister is using any means to keep the Holocaust’s lessons alive

Source: The Washington Post


Eva Schloss, stepsister of Anne Frank and a Holocaust survivor herself, sits for an interview at George Mason University on Feb. 7 in Fairfax, Va. Schloss has been the subject of a play and now a “virtual reality” hologram program meant to keep up awareness of genocide survivors years after they die. (Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post)

A “dirty Jew” refugee on the run for two years, a survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp, and stepsister to Holocaust victim Anne Frank, Eva Schloss had dramatic, amazing, horrifying stories to tell. She kept them locked inside herself for decades, but now the 88-year-old British grandmother is on a tear, diving into everything from cutting-edge hologram technology to controversies about Justin Bieber to keep people thinking about the lessons of the Holocaust.

The well-coiffed, plain-spoken Schloss has her own nightmarish tales from World War II Europe and the camps. And of overcoming postwar suicidal depression. And of her famous stepsister. But in her books, work with prisoners and public speaking around the world, she talks just as much about what she sees as today’s horrors: Syrian refugees on the run, ISIS torture of Christians, the immorality of drone and atomic warfare, environmental degradation, a slipping interest in public education. And what she calls the enduring need to pay attention.

“I talk about it and tell people, this is what Germany was. Not everybody was — by no means — anti-Semitic or supported Hitler. They had good Jewish friends, but they took the easy way out and looked the other way. It is the danger of the bystander,” Schloss said in an interview Wednesday before an evening appearance at the Center for the Arts at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. “This is what we have to teach young people — not to be indifferent, but take part; if you see injustice being done, speak out.”

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