Holocaust survivor tells her story in Germany

Holocaust survivor Eva Erben is impacting school students in Germany. “Your story is a story of hope,” a student said.

Eva Erben signing her book (photo credit: ICEJ)
Eva Erben signing her book
(photo credit: ICEJ)
Eighty-nine-year-old Holocaust survivor Eva Erben was born in the Czechoslovakia. She was first taken to Terezin, and then survived Auschwitz-Birkenau, Gross Rosen and the Death March at the end of the war. During the march, she was only wearing thin clothing, collapsed along the way and was left for dead. A local farmer found her and took care of her.
While she survived, she lost her parents and her extended family.
Today, Erben lives in Ashkelon and has nine grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren. For over 40 years, she refused to tell her story and to speak in Germany. But today, with the rise of antisemitism and Holocaust denial, Erben is determined to share her story to help fight against antisemitism.
This week, Erben flew from Israel to Germany to tell her story to school students. In fact, every year, the German branch of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem hosts a Holocaust survivor from Israel on a speaking tour in German schools and churches.
At one of the schools, Erben shared pictures of her family. “I want to make you understand that these pictures of my family before the war are pictures of a normal, happy Jewish family," she said.
"This story is not just about me, but more about my generation and the generation of my parents. Why did they have to murder us, the Jewish people?
“And now look at the world today. Has anything changed? The Jewish people and the State of Israel are again singled out. Antisemitism is growing, like a virus spreading rapidly,” she told the students.
“But you are our future... You can do something about antisemitism.”
She had a great impact on her audience. Some students thanked her, calling her courageous.
"I will never forget this and hope it will never, ever happen again,” one student told her.
“It touched me deeply what you have been through and your strength to live and help build up Israel,” said another. “Your story is a story of hope.”
Erben also compiled her story in a book entitled I Am Forgotten (Man hat mich vergessen in German).
The stories of her and of all Holocaust survivors are constant reminders of the importance to never forget and to learn lessons from the Holocaust.
This week, as the world marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, world leaders gathered in Jerusalem for the Fifth World Holocaust Forum to remember the Holocaust and fight against antisemitism. 
At the event, President Reuven Rivlin said that “the role of political leaders is to shape the future... I hope and pray that from this room, the message will go out to every country on Earth that the leaders of the world will stand united in the fight against racism, antisemitism and extremism.
"It embodies the commitment of all those who attend to pass on the awareness of what happened during the Holocaust to the next generations," he said.