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NDC Professor Explores Human Face of History
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Exploring the Human Face of History

Notre Dame College History Professor Dr. Gregory Moore has co-written a book with Holocaust survivor Eva Broessler Weissman. In “The War Came to Me: A Story of Endurance and Survival,” newly published by University Press of America, the co-authors tell the story of how Eva and her sister avoided deportation to the Nazi death camps with the help of courageous and compassionate Dutch citizens.

Eva Broessler Weissman was only a teenager when the Nazis invaded her native Austria in 1938. With their hometown of Vienna no longer safe for Jews, Eva’s family tried to emigrate as soon as possible. The Broessler’s had contacts in the United States, but an American quota system limiting immigration to the U.S. prevented the family of four from leaving together.

With much difficulty, Eva and her sister Ruth managed to escape to the Netherlands in 1939, while their parents found sanctuary in England. At the time, Holland was still free and many assumed it would remain safe from the Nazis. But in May 1940, Germany invaded the Netherlands too. Two related Dutch families each took in one of the Broessler sisters.

In 1942, under dangerous circumstances, Ruth escaped to Switzerland, while Eva remained in Holland. During that time she was arrested and jailed by the Gestapo, but by what can only be considered a miracle she was released unharmed.

With the help of her Dutch family, which worked in the resistance, she obtained new papers without the printed “J” for Jew and lived openly in Amsterdam. She thereby avoided arrest and acted as a courier in the Dutch resistance until the end of the Nazi occupation.

After World War II, she reconnected with her family in the United States, where she devoted her life to working with nonprofit organizations. For more information on Eva Broessler Weissman and Dr. Moore’s book, visit the University Press of America website.