Eva tells her story

April 12, 2016 by Sharon Berger
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A sold-out Sydney Jewish Writers Festival audience was entranced by the larger-than life story of Eva Clarke.

Eva Clarke signs a copy  Photo: Ben Apfelbaum

Eva Clarke signs a copy Photo: Ben Apfelbaum

Her mother Anka gave birth to her on a cart filled with the bodies of typhoid-ridden prisoners on the way to Mauthausen death camp.  Weighing only 35 kilos and 9 months pregnant, her mother and her survived through a combination of luck and moments of compassion by random officials. She was born on April 29, 1945 moments before the collapse of the Third Reich.

Artfully moderated by Rita Nash, the audience at Waverley Library was spellbound by this extraordinary story. Amazingly her story is not unique as discovered by journalist Wendy Holden in the book Born Survivors (published by Hachette Australia). Holden tells not only Eva’s story but that of two other babies born in similar circumstances.  Through the book the three children were fortunate to meet later in life and share their amazing stories. They first met at the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Mauthausen.

Today Eva lives in the UK and amazingly bares no scars from her traumatic beginnings.

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