Evie Jacobson born Evilise Schiirmann in Hildesheim, Germany in 1929, grew up an only child in a privileged household in which her Jewish father and Christian mother led an assimilated life.
After Hitler came to power and passed the Nuremberg Laws in 1935, she was considered a mischling (half breed). She was exposed in school to Nazi ideology (unaware of her father's Jewish identity until a classmate taunted her.)
At the age of 9, she was baptized as a Lutheran. In March 1939, Evie's mother died of tuberculosis and Evie became more at risk. In August, her father decided to send her on a Kindertransport to live with a family in Harwich, England. He planned to immigrate to England to work as a butler, but by September 1939, Germany was at war with England.
Evie lived with her English adopted family, the Whyatts, for nine years. At first, Evie corresponded with her father through Red Cross letters. When he went into hiding under an assumed name, all correspondence stopped.
After the war, Evie was reunited with her father, who wanted to remain in Germany, but Evie refused. They compromised by moving to Chicago, where her father's brother lived with his family. Evie's story shows her constant struggle with her identity, as she experiences being a Jew in Germany, a German in England, and a new immigrant in the United States
Biography written by: Barbara Appelbaum