Eva was born in Zagreb, the capital of Croatia. She didn't offer much about her childhood but did talk about her time in the concentration camps. She was held in camps, one on the Yugoslav Adriatic coast, one was Kraljevica and one on the Island of Rab .These camps were run by Italy. Eva said that the Italians did not kill the way the Nazi did.
Eva said there is no love lost for the people of Croatia. She went to her desk and took out a button that I had never seen before. It was a round yellow button with a large black Z and a small V on top of the Z. This stood for Zidov, the Croatian name for Jews. She said that she was forced to wear it during the Nazi occupation. It is not unlike the yellow star of David the Jews elsewhere in Europe had to wear.
I asked Eva what she likes best about living in New York City. She immediately responded the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It is clearly important for her to visit museums, and she loves the museums in the city. She also attends plays and movies. She briefly considered moving to San Francisco but decided against it. She had lived in Rome for several years before moving to New York City and spoke fondly of Rome. However, New York City is her home. When I asked her what she disliked about New York City, she thought for a while and then said, what's not to like about New York? She added that the city is a very ugly place, citing the subways and some of the streets. She said that New York is a very ugly city with some beautiful buildings. She is sure to get out every day to see those buildings within the city.
I am grateful to Eva for letting me photograph her and interview her. She said that she does not give many interviews because it is too painful.
This is Eva. I was very fortunate to meet her. My friend David's grandson, Russell, had decided that for his Bar Mitzvah project, he would contact someone who had survived the concertation camps during World War II and visit that person once a week. Russell wanted to have a conversation, learn about their personal history in the camps and what their life is like now. Of course, this would be more than just a history lesson for Russell; it would provide an important and meaningful social contact for both. So, on a cold New York Tuesday afternoon, David, Russel and I took the subway to the Chelsea neighborhood. in New York City to meet Eva.
Eva met us at the door. Russel had informed me beforehand that Eva is 93 years old. The woman greeting us appeared to be much younger-spry and mentally alert. I asked how was it that she was so fit at the age of 93? She said her secret to youth was to have young friends and getting out. As we entered, I noticed there were many colorful, bright abstract paintings throughout the apartment. They were all done by Eva.
It is clearly very important to Eva that what happened during the holocaust not be forgotten. She tells her history to as many people as possible. She was asked to be interviewed by the Steven Spielberg project, Shoah. However, she declined to be interviewed by them since she wrote her own memoir, which is not yet published.