The Holocaust... A Survivor's Tale...

never again...

Eva's Brother Heinz

Portrait by Barbara Powers


Heinz Geiringer is Eva’s only sibling.  He has the hands of a pianist like his mother, thick hair and dark features like his father, and a strong profile that resembles Eva.  Heinz played guitar, piano and accordion to the jazzy tunes of George Gershwin, the lyrical melodies of Frederick Chopin and popular songs for friends that made Eva proud.  He read tales of exciting adventures, and then retold them to Eva late into the night so she could forget their troubles and worries. 

After the Nazi invasion of Austria the family escaped to Belgium and then Holland.  When Eva talked to Heinz about missing relatives and friends he helped her envision happier times.  When the Nazis invaded Holland they began rounding up young boys.  Pappy hid Heinz in the hospital where he quelled his fears by writing poetry.  Eventually, the family went into hiding, and Heinz painted scenes full of sadness and hope.  Eva easily recalls Heinz’s whispers on the train to Auschwitz when he explained that Pappy buried his paintings under the floorboards of the home they were in.  

 

Heinz did not survive the war.  He perished in a concentration camp just days before the liberation.  He was seventeen years old, yet created more in his childhood than most accomplish in a lifetime.  

 

Eva and Mutti found the house and Heinz’s precious treasure: more than twenty paintings!  Eva cherishes this tangible memory of her brother and the reminder of Pappy's promise, that: ‘all the good you accomplish will make a difference to someone, somewhere and your achievements will be carried on.  We are like links in a chain a chain that cannot be broken.’

The chain of goodness is continued in the exhibition of Heinz’s paintings in cities across the U.S., and in the Dutch Resistance Museum in Amsterdam.

Unique Wartime Paintings -
http://verzetsmuseum.org/museum/en/temporary,missed/evas_story

Resistance museum shows unique paintings from hideaway -

http://www.simplyamsterdam.nl/news/Verzetsmuseum_Amsterdam_shows_unique_paintings_from_hideaway.htm