Mark Clairmont | MuskokaTODAY.com

BRACEBRIDGE — Eva Olsson says it’s a “miracle” she’s still alive.

Four hours from death in a Nazi concentration camp, she was liberated 75 year ago.

“Orders were given that all prisoners were to be shot at 3 o’clock that afternoon and we were liberated by the British and Canadians that came in from Holland at 11 o’clock that morning,” she told a school audience just before COVID closed everything.

Olsson, 96, lost most of her family in Auschwitz. She and her sister were at the slave labour camp in Bergen-Belsen, Germany, when the camp was liberated April 15, 1945.

This week the Holocaust survivor and speaker — who moved to Bracebridge and finally began speaking out about her experience in 1996 — was again recognized for her nearly 25 years of advocacy work against racism and prejudice.

At its council meeting, Wednesday Oct. 7, Mayor Graydon Smith presented the Mayor’s Award of Excellence to Olsson for “the work she has done in our town, country, and around the world is truly incredible.”

“On behalf of myself, council, and our entire community, we thank Eva for the many years she has shared this extremely powerful message,” said Smith.

Olsson has travelled the world sharing her story of being a Hungarian Jewish individual at Auschwitz during the Holocaust. She speaks on behalf of those who lost their lives and asks her listeners to commit to treat each other with kindness and respect and eliminate hate.

The Mayor’s Award of Excellence recognizes individuals, groups or organizations for their contributions to the betterment of the Town of Bracebridge, says a town release. It is presented to those who may not otherwise receive the thanks and recognition they deserve.

Bracebridge resident Eva Olsson was honured with The Bracebridge Mayor’s Award of Excellnce this week at a council meeting. (CBC photo John Robertson)


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