Holocaust survivor Eva Schloss paid a special visit to Oklahoma City Thursday.
Schloss, who is also Anne Frank’s stepsister and childhood friend, spoke to a group of eighth graders before heading to Oklahoma City Community College for a special presentation.
Schloss said she and Anne Frank grew up together and would play with the other children in their town square.
“We met after school always and played together. We had of course no mobile phones, so we did skipping, hopscotch, gossiping,” Schloss said.
While Frank was always interested in writing, Schloss was more physically active, involved in sports.
Meanwhile, the environment around them was consumed by hate and Nazism.
“We went into hiding. We were in hiding for two years,” Schloss said of her family.
Schloss’ family was eventually betrayed, and they were sent to a concentration camp.
Only Schloss and her mother survived.
“My own suffering, I was able to cope with, but the loss of my father and brother this really hit me most hard,” Schloss said.
Later, her mother married Otto Frank, Anne's father.
Eva said Frank helped her learn forgiveness, after years of hurt and anger.
Now, Eva spreads that message of forgiveness and peace around the world.
Rabbi Ovadia Goldman, of the Chabad Community Center Jewish Life and Learning, organized Schloss’ visit to Oklahoma City.
“Most people here in Oklahoma are not going to have many opportunities to actually meet somebody that survived the horror of the holocaust,” Goldman said.
Goldman said Schloss embodies an old Jewish saying.
“A little bit of light can dispel a lot of darkness and she's a living proof of that,” Goldman said.
Schloss said all these years later her experience is relevant as ever, and she hopes to raise awareness for refugees who need help.
“There is unfortunately, I don't know why, so much discrimination and hatred to different groups,” Schloss said of the current state of affairs.