Eva Schloss often found herself in the shadow of her stepsister for many years. Not long after the uproar over Justin Beiber’s naively absendminded statement about wishing Anne Frank would have been a fan of his in another life, 83-year-old Schloss sat down with the Telegraph’s Neil Tweedie to talk about surviving the Holocaust and how the idealized image of Frank impacted her life.
“She probably would’ve been a fan. Why not? He’s a young man and she was a young girl, and she liked film stars and music. They make a lot of fuss about everything that is connected with Anne Frank,” said Schloss, dousing the wildfire of criticism with sensibility and realness.
Schloss, whose mother, Fritzi, married Anne’s father, Otto, in 1953 (after Anne’s death), opened up about living in a house preocuppied with immortalizing Anne’s memory, so much that when she had a miscarriage, her mother chose to stay in Denmark to deal with “Anne Frank business” rather than comfort her daughter at her bedside. Though experience left somewhat of a bitter taste in her mouth, she continues to have fond memories of the girl with whom she shared ice cream and ogled boys. She hopes that her memoir, After Auschwitz: My Memories of Otto and Anne Frank, will give her three daughters a better understanding of how her experiences, both in the internmen camp and being marginalized in her own home, trickled down to her relationships with them.
“Someone once called me a har-faced cow. Perhapes they were right…It was really too painful, but now I think we will have a better understanding. We will be able to talk more openly about why I could not be a normal mother.”