Eva's story: a survivor's tale by the stepsister of Anne Frank
Unique wartime paintings
• December 15 2006 - April 8 2007
'Amazing. I had heard af Anne Frank and her diary, but Heinz and Erich's paintings were fantastic. I now think it is true anybody can be a hero.'
Early January 2006, Eva Schloss, stepdaughter of Otto Frank, presented a unique collection of paintings to the director of the Dutch Resistance Museum in Amsterdam. The collection of 30 paintingsis a major and extraordinary addition to the museum's collection.
They were painted by Eva's father and brother, who both died during the war, while they were in hiding.
Eva - Eva Geiringer at that time - and her mother Fritzi survived the horrors of concentration camp Auschwitz. Fritzi met Otto Frank during their return from the camp to the Netherlands. They were married in 1953. In the deportation train, Eva learned that her father and brother had hidden paintings under the floor of one of the houses in which they had been in hiding.
The paintings were indeed found together with a moving note: "Property of Eric and Hein Geiringer from Amsterdam, who are in hiding and will collect the items after the war."
Eric and Hein were in fact called Erich and Heinz. The Geiringer family emigrated from Austria in 1938 and from 1940 lived in the Rivierenbuurt in Amsterdam, across the street from the Frank family. After the war, the survivors of the two families formed their own family.
Anne Frank left her diary, Erich and Heinz Geiringer an unique collection of powerful paintings.
The paintings also tell a story. In their hideaway attic in Soestdijk, Erich and Heinz expressed their feelings of being locked away and their longing for freedom. When Erich and Heinz had to leave their hiding place, they hid the paintings under the floor.
Eva Schloss lives in England these days. She wrote the book Herinneringen van een joods meisje (Eva's story: A Survivor's tale by the stepsister of Anne Frank). Her father's and brother's paintings have been exhibited in the US, but never before in the Netherlands.
It was Eva's wish that the paintings be given a permanent place in Amsterdam. She donated the paintings to the Verzetsmuseum.