Eva Schloss, a Holocaust survivor, speaker and stepsister of diarist Anne Frank, is bringing her message of peace to St. Petersburg.
Schloss plans to share her story about the loss of her father and brother in Auschwitz as well as her and her mother's struggle to make a new life after the war.
"I feel it is a mission now," Schloss said. "People are really interested. People feel for me."
Her message is for everyone, even those outside of the Jewish faith, she said. But Schloss particularly focuses her message toward youth to end prejudicial killing.
"There are a lot of things young people can relate to," Schloss said.
Rabbi Alter Korf, executive director of Chabad Jewish Center of St. Petersburg, said he expects the 850-seat Palladium to sell out. He said the center has reached out to public and private schools as well as colleges to draw students to the event. He said the center has worked for a year to bring Schloss to the Tampa Bay area.
"To me, the most powerful element of this whole evening is the firsthand testimony," he said. "But there's such a unique impact on hearing it firsthand from somebody who's been there. To me, that's priceless."
The Palladium is Schloss' second stop on her tour of 17 venues across Florida. Hailing from London, this is not her first visit to the bay area; St. Petersburg was one of her first speaking events when she began her mission more than 20 years ago, after she was first asked to speak at an Anne Frank exhibition in London in 1986.
Since then, Schloss' speaking tours have taken her to South Africa, Japan, Australia and Russia. At 84, her mission to promote peace and prevent tragedies like to the Holocaust lives on.
"I never spoke openly about anything, especially not the Holocaust," she said. "I was not a speaker. But it was something people wanted to know."
Colleen Wright can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8313. Follow @Colleen_Wright on Twitter.