Eva Geiringer: A Reflection of Victims of War
Many know the heroic and tragic tale of Anne Frank. She is known as a famous Jewish girl who went into hiding from the Nazis and while in her attempts of survival, she kept a journal that would one day inspire the world. Anne Frank will forever be an influential part of history. Her story has touched millions of hearts and has shown people that even in their darkest hours, bravery and hope can still exist. The play And Then They Came for Me by James Still is a play about a friend of Anne Frank and her survival of the Holocaust. The character Eva who is the Friend of Anne Frank is a reflective prospective on the suffering, abandonment, and bravery the Jews went through while in hiding from the Nazi party.
The Nazis brought the world into fear during his rein in World War Two. The Nazi party run by their furor Adolph Hitler not only sought to take over the world by communism, but also had a specific race of people in mind. Blonde and blue-eyed was the ideal man and woman. Any one who was not German and communist was considered the enemy. Though the Nazi party had a particular hatred against the Jewish people. As history tells many Jews were ran out of their homes, held hostage, tortured, and forced into hiding wondering if they would live to see the next day. Eva Geiringer shows another reflection of how the Jews suffered from the Nazi Party through the eyewitness of someone closely connected to Anne Frank through the marriage of her mother to Anne’s father. In the play And Then They Came for Me, Eva looses her brother and father to death by the Nazis. They suffered separation from herself and her mother at the beginning of the play and later learned that they did not survive the attacks. Within the play, we also learn about how her and her family were in hiding in Holland, were betrayed, and sent to the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp. At this camp, Eva and her family along with other Jews suffered through hunger, loss, mourning, illness, and torture. These few brief examples display how the Jews suffered during their imprisonment in World War Two.
And Then They Came for Me also acts a reflective prospective of the abandonment many Jews felt during their periods in hiding and imprisonment. Within the play, Eva along with the other Jewish are all of a sudden classified as “different” from other people just because of their practiced faith. In the very beginning of the play, Eva recites the lines
When the Germans entered… the Nazis entered Austria in March 1938, suddenly things became…quite different. Friends which we have had for years didn’t want to know us anymore. I didn’t understand why suddenly I’m different from my friends. And um… It was something which I really couldn’t grasp.
This recorded monologue reflects only a part of the feelings of abandonment people such as Eva experienced. Long time friends and relationships were broken with those who held the Jewish faith to keep others out of the harm and endangerment that came with associating one’s self with a Jew. Another scene between young Eva, Anne, and the character Heinz takes place where Heinz is explaining to the girls how Jews are no longer allowed in public school or public transportation and how they are to be separated from the rest of the world. Anne and Eva in this scene question the realization of the segregation about to take place and show what kind of suffering and loss it is for them. Religious and ethnic Segregations played a big part in World War Two as Hitler’s reign continued. The segregation and discrimination that took place can show the fear the human race has towards the acceptance of someone or something different from societies normalities.
Though many such as Eva suffered from loss and abandonment, And Then They Came for Me also shows the bravery that Eva’s people put forth during their prosecutions and sufferings. A scene in the play shows Eva and her new combined family with Anne Frank locked away in a death camp for Jews. While everyone including Eva herself are losing hope and complaints begin to arise, Eva describes how Anne served as a beacon of hope for better days keeping the bravery of what was to come alive for many. The play reveals in this moment Anne encouraging those around her that giving up and giving in isn’t going to save their lives. This was an inspirational moment for Eva that she would remember for the rest of her life and what she reveals to help her keep going throughout the play. At the end of the play the character Ed talks about Anne and the kind of person she was. There is an indication of her bravery and hope as he speaks about her.
I have never forgotten the type of person she was at the age 13. I imagine what she sometimes would have been like at 14, 15, perhaps 18- and what she could have become.
Through the accounts of Eva and other characters in the show, Anne served them by giving them hope to survive. She was described to beyond her age during the war. And although Anne herself did not survive the concentration camps, because of the example of bravery she was to people like Eva, there were those who did survive.
In conclusion, The play And Then They Came for Me served as a reflective prospective about those who suffered through the Holocaust. The play demonstrated many things the Jews went through and encountered, yet the suffering, abandonment, and bravery they went through clearly emanates throughout the play. And Then They Came for Me is another dedication to a unforgettable and tragic time in history.