Someone Named Eva
‘Remember, Milada. Remember who you are. Always.’ Those are the words Milada’s grandma said to her the night the Nazi soldiers appeared at her house in Czechoslovakia. Someone Named Eva tells eleven-year-old Milada’s story after she’s separated from her family and closely examined by Nazi doctors who find she fits the perfect Aryan ideal. As a result, she’s sent to a Lebensborn center in Poland, renamed Eva, and trained to become the ideal German citizen. During months of sometimes brutal “education,” she finds herself struggling to remember details about her life as Milada. Or to remember what her grandma had told her to remember.
This book was inspired by accounts of children across Europe who were kidnapped from their families and sent to Lebensborn centers for re-education during World War II. Wolf’s imagining of one such young woman’s experience is a touching and at the same time chilling account of the vulnerability of the mind to be manipulated. This young adult novel is recommended for its telling of a heartbreaking experience endured by thousands of children during the Nazi reign of terror, one rarely put forth in books. Ages 4-8.