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Survivor makes sure Holocaust horrors remembered

October 31, 2008 10:44:15 AM PDT
Ava Schieber wants to make sure her memories will help others learn about the horrors of the Holocaust.She was a teenager in Nazi occupied Yugoslavia. Schieber now creates works of art that she hopes will make sure no one forgets what happened during the World War II.

Schieber was born in Serbia, the daughter of a musician father and a Catholic mother who converted to Judaism. Ava Schieber was a teenager when the Nazis invaded Yugoslavia. Taking refuge on a farm, she pretended to be a deaf mute for nearly four years to escape capture.

"They said I should not talk outside the farm, because I would have given myself away having been an educated teenager and would have put my hosts in peril," said Schieber.

Leaving Serbia at wars end, she settled in Israel when it was 1-year-old. A graphic artist, costume and set designer, Schieber moved to Chicago in the 1980s as she continued to incorporate in her art work memories of the Holocaust, memories that take on many shapes and colors as they display themselves in her home.

This year, one of her water color paintings can be found on a Holocaust museum calendar. It depicts a boat she saw on the Danube River that was carrying German Jews to their deaths in the Black Sea.

"It is part of a testimony that I am giving to my work for decades, which is not to forget the event we call the Holocaust," said Schieber.

Four years ago, Schieber wrote a book containing her stories, poems and drawings reflecting her teenage experiences. It is entitled Soundless Roar.

"This is making me think, write talk to young people and it gives me what we call, raison d'etre, a reason to exist, to have the good fortune to be right here in Chicago," said Schieber.

Ava Schieber: artist, author, Holocaust survivor and someone you should know. This coming Monday, she will be involved in the Holocaust luncheon to be held at the Sheraton Chicago. The hot line number is (800) 604-1254.


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