First page of Eva Oswalt’s cookbook she created while interned at Ravensbrück

First page of Eva Ostwalt's cookbook

Eva Ostwalt was born in Cologne, Germany, to Jewish parents. She had two younger sisters, Kate and Trude. In 1927, Eva moved with her daughter, Heidemarie, and non-Jewish husband to Dresden. Eva and Karl later divorced, and Eva received custody of Heidemarie. Mother and daughter moved to Merano, Italy. When Eva’s passport expired in 1938, she had to return to Germany. Believing that Heidemarie would be safer with her father, Eva gave custody back to Karl in Dresden. Eva returned to Cologne, where both she and her mother Else were eventually caught by the SS. Else was sent to Auschwitz, where she was killed. Eva was sent to Ravensbrück in 1943.

Near the end of the war, she was forced on a death march, from which she escaped. Eva eventually returned to Dresden to find her daughter. She arrived to find the town in ruin from air raids, and learned that Heidemarie had died from the attacks.

This page comes from a cookbook Eva created while imprisoned in Ravensbrück.

Critical Thinking Questions

What might have motivated people in camps and ghettos to collect and preserve recipes and create cookbooks under such difficult conditions?

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  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, gift of Eva Guttsmann Ostwalt
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