Holocaust survivor speaks to Lanark Grammar pupils

PUPILS sat in total silence listening when Eva Clarke, a woman born in a concentration camp against all the odds, spoke at Lanark Grammar’s Holocaust Assembly.

For well over an hour the young people, from fourth, fifth and sixth year, sat transfixed.

And the question session after her talk showed they still wanted to know more.

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The visit was organised by the Holocaust Educational Trust. Many of the Grammar students have already visited Auschwitz – Eva seemed surprised by the number – but she was there to give them a personal account of one family caught up in the Nazi programme which killed millions of people, mostly Jews, including most of her relatives.

Her father was a German Jew and when Hitler came to power in 1933 the family realised they should get out of Germany. Eva’s father moved to Prague.

“He thought that was far enough to be safe,” she explained.

In Prague he met and married her mother, Anna.

Eva described the conditions worsening gradually as the Nazis clamped down, closing universities then imposing more restrictions on Jews, including curfews and banning them from having cars or going to the cinema, but her parents believed – like others – that they could cope with all that.

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