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Eva & Otto: Resistance, Refugees, and Love in the Time of Hitler

Event Details

Wed, May 26, 2021
11:00AM - 12:00PM
Zoom event, Oakland, CA CA 94611
Map address
Registration Period:
Sally Cohen, '70

Tom Pfister, Class of 1970, along with his sister and twin brother, spent several years researching and writing a book about their parents’ early lives. The book is an intimate and epic account of two Germans—Eva, born Jewish, Otto, born Catholic—who worked with a little-known German political group that actively resisted and fought against Hitler in Germany before 1933 and then in exile in Paris before the German invasion of France in May 1940. After their improbable escapes from separate internment and imprisonment venues in Europe, Eva obtained refuge in America in October 1940, where, with the help of Eleanor Roosevelt, she worked to rescue other endangered political refugees, including Otto. As revealed in recently declassified records, Eva and Otto later engaged in different secret assignments with the U.S. Office of Strategic Services (OSS) in support of the Allied war effort. Despite their vastly different backgrounds, Eva and Otto gave each other hope and strength as they acted upon what they understood to be an ethical duty to help others threatened by fascism. Based largely on a treasure of letters and diaries, as well as careful historical research, the book also reveals an unlikely and inspiring love story. 

Tom’s presentation will focus on the personal costs and risks of his parents' resistance activities. He will also share some of the remarkable—and at times shocking—new personal and historical information that he and his siblings discovered in the process of researching and writing this book.

Event Activities

Eva & Otto: Resistance, Refugees, and Love in the Time of Hitler
Wednesday, May 26, 2021 @ 11:00 AM

Event Links

Event 34197