By Nicole Darrah
Published March 07, 2019
Eva Schloss, an 89-year-old survivor of the Holocaust, planned to meet with students at Newport Harbor High in Newport Beach, according to Rabbi Reuven Mintz of the Chabad Center for Jewish Life.
In a letter on his website, he said Schloss, who "has an incredible story of survival, grit, loss and ultimate triumph of the human spirit against all odds," was to speak with the group to "positively transform the lives of the erring students."
Last week, a photo circulated on social media showing students from Newport Harbor and other local schools saluting at a party. Close by: a swastika formed with red plastic cups.
School officials and other leaders condemned anti-Semitic actions, and hundreds of people came to a meeting at the school Monday to express outrage.
While Mintz said he was "appalled and saddened" by the episode, he's "heartened by the communal response," and wants the situation to be used as an "opportunity to illuminate Newport Beach as a whole."
Schloss survived the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in Poland, according to her website. She has published several books about her life, including "Eva's Story: A Survivor's Tale by the Stepsister of Anne Frank." Her mother married Frank's father, Otto Frank, in 1953, making them stepsisters.
Like Frank, the young Jewish diarist, Schloss and her family went into hiding in Amsterdam during World War II. They were subsequently betrayed and sent to Auschwitz. She was eventually liberated by Russian forces in 1945.
Frank was born in Germany and fled to the Netherlands with her family as Adolf Hitler rose to power.
After Germany invaded the Netherlands, her father created a secret living space where she kept her now-famous diary for two years before being discovered. She died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp at age 15.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.