Holocaust survivor Eva Schloss to speak at CSU

Serena Bettis

Out of nearly 11 million deaths during the Holocaust, Eva Schloss survived and later thrived, educating young people around the world to fight against hate. 

Colorado State University will host 90-year-old Schloss during Holocaust Awareness Week Nov. 18. 


Born in Austria, Schloss’s family moved multiple times as Adolf Hitler began to capture eastern European countries. After evading Nazi capture for two years, Schloss spent nine months in the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp before the war ended. 

“I had a very happy life when I grew up in Austria, Vienna, and all this was completely shattered when the Nazis invaded the country, and we became refugees,” Schloss said.

Schloss lost both her brother and father during the war but was able to live in Amsterdam and continue her education in 1945. She said she focused on making an ordinary life and building a family, though her suffering was always there.

Debate about things, talk about it openly, why you think this is wrong or that is wrong or why you think this is good. You will realize we all want really the same.” -Eva Schloss, Holocaust survivor

It took Schloss 40 years before she was able to speak about what happened.

“Not just for everybody, but for a young person, really, it was quite difficult to comprehend what the world was up to, why this had happened,” Schloss said.

After Aggie Village residents found a swastika outside an apartment on Sept. 19, the Associated Students of CSU passed multiple resolutions to combat anti-semitism.

This included Resolution 4904, which named the swastika incident an act of hate, and Bill 4905, which authorized $14,655 of funding through the Board for Student Organization Funding for Holocaust Awareness Week.

“That makes me actually very sad that the world hasn’t really learned anything from the horrible events which happened before,” Schloss said. “I really want to educate young people to be aware of what is going on, to take an active life in politics and on your campus first, in your school, and in your city and then in your country.”

Schloss said she believes education is most important when combating prejudice. She said that by learning about different religions and truly engaging with ideas different from one’s own, people might be able to see that they all generally want the same things.

In response to instances of hate and anti-semitism, on the CSU campus and around the world, Schloss said that people simply need to communicate with one another.


“I would ask them why,” Schloss said. “What have you got against these people you think you hate? They’ll probably say, ‘Well I don’t really know.’ Debate about things, talk about it openly, why you think this is wrong or that is wrong or why you think this is good. You will realize we all want really the same.”

Schloss’ Nov. 18 speech will be hosted by Students for Holocaust Awareness and will be co-sponsored by Associated Students of CSU, Chabad Jewish Student Organization, Hillel Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon Pi Sorority, the Office of International Programs, the Residence Hall Association and the Lory Student Center. Tickets to the event are required and can be found at CSU’s Ticket Office website

For more information on Schloss and her speaking event, visit CSU’s Holocaust Awareness website.  

Correction: This article has been updated to reflect more accurate information about the groups and organizations hosting and sponsoring Eva Schloss’ Nov. 18 speech at CSU.

Serena Bettis can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @serenaroseb