Eva Schay’s parents were wise enough to know by July 1933 that it was time to leave Germany as soon as her father received a letter falsely accusing him and debarring him from being a tax consultant because he was not an Aryan. After a brief sojourn in Paris, the family settled in Mallorca, until the Nationalists, aided by Italian Fascists, came to power and the Jews were deported to their native countries, in this case to Germany, and then to Italy. It was Eva’s mother, who having just read a book about South Africa, decided that it was to be their next place of settlement. Once having settled there and even though her parents were classified as “enemy aliens” until the war’s end, it wasn’t long before Eva’s talent for violin, as well as art, was discovered and again, with her mother’s help, and her own determination, she set out for a career as a violinist. Eva went through school, including university in Johannesburg, but continued her musical studies in London. After returning to South Africa, she became a member, second violinist and often soloist, of the SABC orchestra. Once again, it is the mother who helps her achieve her dream and ultimately follows her to England, as apartheid becomes established in South Africa. This is a very, possibly too detailed biography, with numerous names of friends, acquaintances, teachers, the love of her life, and the man she actually married and learned to handle. Will be enjoyed primarily by musicians. See also: My Race: A Jewish Girl Growing Up Under Apartheid in South Africa, by Lorraine Lotzov Abramson (Oxford University Press, 2010).
Marcia W. Posner, Ph.D., of the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County, is the library and program director. An author and playwright herself, she loves reviewing for JBW and reading all the other reviews and articles in this marvelous periodical.