To Russia with love as liberators are thanked

By Jessica Elgot, February 9, 2012
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Eva Schloss seated next to one of the death camp liberators at the Moscow Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony

Eva Schloss seated next to one of the death camp liberators at the Moscow Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony

Anne Frank's stepsister spent Holocaust Memorial Day in Moscow, thanking Russian veterans who helped to liberate her and others from Auschwitz.

Eva Schloss, 82, spent six days in the Russian capital in temperatures as low as -15 degrees.

"I have always wanted to go to Russia to meet the army veterans," she said. "It was very emotional for me, really very special. The veterans I met were in their 90s and so I thought it really was now or never."

The Moscow HMD ceremony was attended by 250 people, among them schoolchildren, government officials, the Israeli and German ambassadors and Jewish community members.

Russians are now more open to marking HMD

Mrs Schloss hoped Russia would officially adopt HMD. "The relationship with the West has not been so wonderful, but now that most of Europe has adopted the day, I think the Russians are more open to it. The government seemed quite positive about it and I think it will happen within the next couple of years.

"They were extremely pleased to have the ceremony. The German ambassador spoke particularly movingly."

Mrs Schloss also gave talks about her experiences in the camps and visited the Moscow Holocaust museum and memorial.

Yad Vashem officials were also in Moscow. "They are looking to find more names of the 2.5 million people who died from Russia," Mrs Schloss explained. "They only have around half the names so they are trying to get in touch with Christian neighbours of Jewish villagers, who might remember."

    Last updated: 1:18pm, February 9 2012