'What Happened Was Because My Family Were Jews' Holocaust Survivor Visits School to Tell Pupils about the Horror of Life in Concentration Camps

South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales), November 12, 2008 | Go to article overview

'What Happened Was Because My Family Were Jews' Holocaust Survivor Visits School to Tell Pupils about the Horror of Life in Concentration Camps


Byline: Catherine Evans

A SURVIVOR of the Holocaust yesterday shared her family's harrowing experiences of World War II concentration camps with a group of Cardiff pupils.

Grandmother and mother-of-two Eva Clarke, 63, was born at the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria on April 29, 1945, just three days before its liberation.

In the presentation to Year 12 pupils at Howell's school, she explained how in December 1941, after years of persecution, her parents had been sent to the There sienstadt camp near Prague.

"I tell the story to remember the millions and millions of people who died in the Holocaust," said Eva.

"And for every survivor there's a different story."

Being young and strong, Eva's parents were considered competent workers, ensuring their survival at the ghetto.

When Eva's mother Anna became pregnant with her son Dan, she and her husband were forced to sign a document stating that when the baby was born it would have to be handed over to the Gestapo to be killed. The baby later died of pneumonia, but Anna soon became pregnant with her second child-Eva. When she was sent to the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp on October 1, 1944, Anna managed to conceal her second pregnancy. Had she arrived with a new baby she would have immediately been sent to the gas chamber.

"My brother's death meant that I could survive," said Eva.

Tragically, her father was deported to another camp and was shot by the Nazis. Fifteen other members of her family were also killed.

Anna was selected to work asaslave labourer in an armaments factory in Freiberg near Dresden. She remained there for six months, hiding her pregnancy while growing weaker by the day through starvation and exhaustion. …

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