Eva Clarke is sharing her family's harrowing Holocaust survival story with schools and universities to raise awareness and understanding but also to remember those who were never given the opportunity to be missed.
“All those people, we don’t know the numbers, who have never ever had one single person remember them because all their families were killed and all the communities were destroyed.”
Eva and her Mother’s survival story is almost unbelievable. Eva was born in Mauthausen concentration camp, Austria in April 1945. If the chambers had not run out of gas the day before she was born and the Americans had not liberated them a few days later, Eva and her Mother, the last of their family, would not have survived.
Forces Radio BFBS' Cherry Casey spoke to Eva at one of her talks to students in Northern Ireland and asked what she thinks of people who do not believe the genocide of six million Jews during the Second World War happened.
“First of all it makes me very angry. Secondly I’m incredulous because there is just so much evidence to the contrary and most of the evidence was supplied by the Nazis themselves because they recorded everything, they filmed everything.”
Holocaust Memorial Day is marked on January 27 each year – the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. The Holocaust Educational Trust, established in 1988, aims to educate young people from every background about the Holocaust and the important lessons to be learned for today and Eva is a speaker for them.
“Through telling one family’s story… that makes the history come alive as opposed to just reading a textbook.”
One of The Holocaust Educational Trusts earliest achievements was ensuring that the Holocaust formed part of the National Curriculum for History in England.
More from Forces Network - Holocaust Memorial Day: A Powerful Reminder Of The Need For Tolerance
Although there is no formal requirement for Holocaust education in Northern Ireland, Sullivan Upper School, in Holywood, arranged, through the trust, for Holocaust survivor Eva to speak to pupils and parents about her experience.
What did the students think of Eva’s emotional and eye-opening speech? Did it change their view of today's refugees? After Eva's powerful speech one student said:
“Quite often you think refugees are just coming here for other reasons but this just shows that sometimes they can be through war torn things and come here to try and get away from that but sometimes they’re not treated like it.”
Picture: © IWM (HU 90295) / Transport of Jewish Hungarians arriving at Auschwitz II-Birkenau camp, May-June 1944.