on 23 March 2001
I've read eva's story and I was moved to tears on more than one occasion during the reading of it. I was frightened with her and when she described her first senses of liberation I felt elated with her yet scared at the same time. I'm 17 roughly about the same age as she was back then and I find it terrible to think about what teenagers went through during the holocaust, It is a moving book which I think everyone who is stdying the holocaust should read.
on 12 February 2005
I first found out about this book when my year six teacher was reading it to us in our English lesons. When she had finished reading us this moving story, she told us that she knew Eva and that Eva was coming to meet us to answer our questions! Everyone was so excited because we where all moved by her story. We met her and asked her questions about what was it like not being able to eat a full meal after coming out of the camp. She was one of the nicest woman we met and where really excited when we found out she would be joining us on our year six trip to Holland! We went on a trip to the Anne Frank house and we all felt her pain when we found her Father's name in the book of names of the people that had been killed in the camps. Parts of the story that me and my fellow classmates loved in the story was how her mother had to be marched away but fell pretending to die of exaustion. The guards did not shoot her and she managed to get back to Eva, who was only 14 at the time! I know this review did not tell you much about the book, but hopefully it has told you a tiny bit about the fabulous woman who wrote this sad but triumphant in the end book. I know that many people won't get the chance to meet her, but this book, get's you as close as you need to go! It's one of the best!
Rachel Lynch xxxx
on 8 February 2001
This book is, possibly, more moving than Anne Frank's diary. It describes the conditions in concentration camps vividly, and makes it stick in your mind. The author seems brave, and has an undeniable faith in God. It makes non-Jews like myself (i'm christian) feel awful about the way the jews were treated, often betrayed by the people they thought were friends. If you have never really thought about the holocaust as something that could affect you, read this book. It makes you realise that if this ever happens again, it will happen to you. I cried while reading this book. Read it.
If you are familiar with the story of Anne Frank, this has many parallel connections.
Anne Frank was born into a German-Jewish family and Eva into an Austrian-Jewish one and their families had quite separately chosen Amsterdam as a safe refuge from a regime which was about to wreak havoc across Europe. They were of similar age, of broadly similar backgrounds and both girls' fathers had been in business in their respective countries and they also knew each other as they had both lived on the same street, Merwedeplein. They may have attended the same school.
In the early-mid 1930s, there was a sizable pre-existing Jewish population within the Low Countries and they would soon be joined by some of those then able to buy exit visas. Few would then have considered the possibility that Hitler's territorial demands would cover most of Europe.
Within Germany, the Nazis initially advocated the closing and destruction of smaller Jewish-owned businesses, but many of the larger ones and especially those directly or indirectly of benefit to the State (food, clothing and other production businesses, including the supposedly part-Jewish owned Krups works) were placed in State ownership. Many professionals in medicine, law, education and other fields were prohibited from practising and several chose to relocate to 'safer' countries.
In the initial years following Hitler's rise to power, many from Europe's Jewish populations were concerned about their welfare. Some of Germany's wealthier Jewish families were able to purchase exit permits long before national borders were finally closed in 1939. Various destinations were popular with France, Belgium and the Netherlands most favoured and with Britain and the US less favoured as they were rather more distant and more complex and difficult to reach. In retrospect, mainland Europe was a poor choice but future events were not always foreseeable. When the German invasions and occupations started some Jews tried to hide and were successful, at least for a time. In later years, rumours of transportations to labour or death camps began to circulate and heighten existing fears. However, with the common knowledge that numbers of Jews were secretly in hiding and, as in other situations, certain sections of the population were quite happy to denounce others for the price of a few loaves of bread or to curry favour from the occupiers.
Although the Geiringer (Eva's maiden name) and Frank families were separately and safely hidden until mid-1944, they were ultimately betrayed and sent to concentration camps. Whereas Anne Franks' father was the sole survivor of his family, Eva and her mother both survived from theirs. Post-War, Mrs Geiringer and Mr Frank married and Eva effectively and posthumously became Anne's step-sister. Eva chose not to tell her story until many years had passed and when well into adulthood.
It is a story worth reading. Anne Franks did not survive the War and she became famous and her diaries worldwide best sellers immediately they were published. Eva's story is different mainly in that she survived, but it is no less important that her story is told as it fills the gaps that Anne Franks was unable to infill. In a sense, Eva's survival and her mother's remarriage to Anne Franks' father is the happy ending missing from Anne Franks' diaries.
The book is quite slim and includes a number of family photographs and others of wider relevance.