Eva Clarke

Last updated
Eva Clarke

BEM
Born
Eva Olga Nathanová

(1945-04-29) April 29, 1945 (age 75)
Mauthausen, Austria
CitizenshipCzechoslovakia
United Kingdom
Occupation College administrator
Known for Holocaust survivor
Children2
Parent(s)

Eva Olga Clarke BEM (née Nathanová; born April 29, 1945) is a British-Czech Holocaust survivor and former college administrator known for her birth at Mauthausen concentration camp. She is a speaker for the Holocaust Educational Trust. Clarke combats modern day instances of racism and prejudice through sharing her family's experiences in the Holocaust.

Contents

Early life

Clarke and her mother at Mauthausen on May 11, 1945 Anka Nathanova and Eva Clarke (cropped).jpg
Clarke and her mother at Mauthausen on May 11, 1945

On April 29, 1945, after three years in the Theresienstadt ghetto, six months of slave labor in an armaments factory in Freiburg, Germany, and a 17-day train journey in an open coal car, Anka Nathanová arrived at the gates of Mauthausen concentration camp. [1] She gave birth to her daughter, Eva Olga Clarke, [2] on a cart there. Nathanová weighed less than 80 pounds and had managed to hide her pregnancy long enough to keep her and her unborn child safe from the Nazi gas chambers. [1] Previously, when arriving at the Auschwitz concentration camp, Nazi SS doctor Josef Mengele asked Nathanová if she was pregnant, to which she lied and replied no. [3] The Americans arrived six days later, and an Army Signal Corps cameraman filmed the human wreckage as evidence of Nazi atrocities. He also filmed Nathanová with her new baby. [1] Clarke's father Bernd Nathan, a German-Jewish architect, was shot and killed on January 18, 1945, shortly before the liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp. [4] [5] Her brother Dan (George) was born in 1944 in the Theresienstadt ghetto and died of pneumonia at the age of two months. [6] [7]

The family moved to Prague to live with Nathanová's cousin. [5] In February 1948, [8] Clarke's mother married her old acquaintance, Karel Bergman, a Czech Jew who had escaped to the United Kingdom in 1939 and returned as a translator in the Royal Air Force. [9] [10] [11] Bergman adopted Clarke and the family left Prauge in September 1948. [8] Bergman found work in Pontypridd. [12] The family relocated to Cardiff and later Cyncoed. Clarke attended Rhydypenau Primary School and Our Lady’s Convent School. [5]

Career

Clarke was a college administrator at Cambridge Regional College for 20 years. [3] [11] In 2000, she began speaking publicly of her family's experiences during the Holocaust. Clarke volunteers as a speaker for the Holocaust Educational Trust. She also supports the Anne Frank Trust and the Beth Shalom Holocaust Centre. [11] In 2010, she attended the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Mauthausen. Clarke returned in May 2013 as one of 20 survivors invited by the Austrian government to attend the opening of a new exhibition. [5] She is one of the three subjects of the book, Born Survivors (2015) by British writer Wendy Holden. [6] In 2020, Clarke's birth certificate was on display at the Imperial War Museum. [3] Through her testimonials, she hopes people learn from the Holocaust and combat modern day instances of racism and prejudice. [11]

Personal life

Clarke lived in Cardiff until she was 18. [9] In the 1960s, she met and married Malcom Clarke, a lawyer from Abergavenny, and they had two sons. [5] [3] [7] Clarke's father-in-law, Kenneth Clarke was a navigator in RAF Bomber Command who participated in the bombing of Dresden while her mother, Anka Nathanová was sheltering with other prisoners. [13] As of 2017, Clarke resides in Cambridge. [9]

Awards and honors

Clarke was one of four Holocaust survivors awarded the British Empire Medal in 2019 for their efforts to share testimonials of their experiences for future generations. [14] [2]

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References

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  2. 1 2 "British Empire Medals 2019 – The Lieutenancy of Cambridgeshire" . Retrieved 2021-03-02.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Bridge, Mark (January 27, 2020). "Birth certificate reveals baby's remarkable escape from Auschwitz" . The Times . ISSN   0140-0460 . Retrieved 2021-03-01.
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  6. 1 2 Brown, Ebony (2016-05-12). "The Holocaust's Youngest Survivors". Baltimore Jewish Times. Retrieved 2021-03-01.
  7. 1 2 "Eva Clarke, born at Mauthausen when the Third Reich collapsed". romea.cz. 2015-05-11. Retrieved 2021-03-01.
  8. 1 2 Grunwald-Spier, Agnes (2018-01-15). Women's Experiences in the Holocaust: In Their Own Words. Amberley Publishing Limited. ISBN   978-1-4456-7148-2.
  9. 1 2 3 "Holocaust survivor tells of birth in concentration camp". BBC News. 2017-02-12. Retrieved 2021-03-01.
  10. Rhodes, Giulia (2015-05-11). "The Holocaust's youngest survivors: Three people born in a". The Independent. Retrieved 2021-03-01.
  11. 1 2 3 4 Pilgrim, Tom (2018-01-27). "Meet the incredible Cambridge woman born in a Nazi concentration camp". CambridgeshireLive. Retrieved 2021-03-01.
  12. Dermody, Nick (2013-05-05). "Holocaust survivor Eva Clarke returns to Mauthausen birthplace". BBC News. Retrieved 2021-03-01.
  13. Wightwick, Abbie (2015-01-31). "The remarkable story of the Welsh WW2 bomber and the future daughter-in-law who was in his line of fire". WalesOnline. Retrieved 2021-03-01.
  14. Frazer, Jenni (December 28, 2018). "Seven Holocaust survivors on New Year's Honours List". jewishnews.timesofisrael.com. Retrieved 2021-03-01.