All of a sudden we hear "Hitler's coming! Hitler's coming!" And of course everybody had to give the Hitler salute - except Jews to whom it was forbidden. And so my mother said, "turn around." And we quickly turned around toward a jewelry shop and watched the reflection of Hitler passing by. A very scary moment.
Eva, an actress, performs a one-woman play about how she, as a little girl, experienced the rise of antisemitism and racist laws in Nazi Germany before the Holocaust.
Eva wrote her play, “A Page from the Past … Or is it?” when former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke ran for Congress, and she had fears Duke could become an American Hitler.
She tells how in March of 1933, the year Hitler came to power, her father came home early one day and explained he had been fired from his job as a newspaper’s music and drama critic because he was Jewish. When Eva was in fifth grade, the school principal called upon all the Jewish students in school and explained that while they were excellent students, Nazi laws now required their expulsion from school.
Eva's father died of natural causes when she was 13. It was a tragedy depriving her of a loving father who had taught her to appreciate opera, theater, and music. Ironically, it may have spared her father from being one of 30,000 Jewish males imprisoned in Germany in November 1938, on Kristallnacht. On the “Night of Broken Glass,” Nazi Party Officials and Storm Troopers instigated the destruction of hundreds of synagogues and thousands of Jewish stores.
Eva and her mother took nearly a year to leave Germany and arrive in Seattle, where a cousin lived. Nazi laws restricted the amount of money emigrating Jews could take from Germany, so Eva and her mother arrived in Seattle with $20. Two weeks later, on Sept. 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland and ignited WWII.
“Can any of this happen here,” she asks. “That’s something that’s up to each and every one us.”
Today Eva is active in the Holocaust Center's Speakers Bureau and performs her show for students in the Seattle area.
Survivor Encyclopedia - Video clips and photos of Eva