'Anka's Story' - A Tribute to Anka Bergman

In July 2013, 96-year-old Holocaust survivor Anka Bergman passed away. She had spoken publicly about her experiences for many years and her daughter Eva Clarke, who was born in Mauthausen concentration camp, still gives regular talks in schools, colleges and public events. Both mother and daughter's stories of survival and coming to terms with life outside the camps are remarkable, and were highlighted in the BBC documentary 'The Baby Born in a Concentration Camp'. You can read more about Anka's life in one of my earlier blog posts.

Survivor testimony never fails to move an audience, but for one college student, Eva's testimony was deeply affective. He composed an hour-long piece reflecting the highs and lows of Anka and Eva's story, and was eventually contacted by a local arts company. This collaboration has resulted in the creation of 'Anka's Story', a contemporary ballet about Anka and her baby's survival during the Holocaust.
The ballet was initially performed by Elevation Dance in 2012 and has now been featured on the BBC and at several Holocaust Memorial Day events. Eva Clarke herself is fully supportive of the show and has attended every performance. Elevation Dance now wish to take the ballet to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival later this year and to gain even wider recognition of a fantastic, youth-driven composition. More information on 'Anka's Story' can be found on the Elevation Dance website.

I find the creative aspect of telling one such story extremely compelling, as survivor numbers decrease and we look to ways to engage future audiences with their testimonies. The play was also composed and is performed by young people, increasing their knowledge of the Holocaust and enabling them to pass on what they have learned to others. I certainly hope to be able to attend a performance of 'Anka's Story' in the near future.