Someone Named Eva - Plot Summary

Plot Summary

Milada, a young Czechoslovakian girl, lives in the village of Lidice where lots of other people live. A month later, the Nazis soldiers come to their house, taking away Milada, her mother, her younger sister Anechka and her grandmother. Her father and her brother Jaro are separated from the rest of the family and taken away somewhere else.

Milada, her mother, grandmother and Anechka are held together with the rest of the female inhabitants of Lidice in a school building. She is tested by doctors there who measures her nose, eyes and color of her hair. With her perfect features and blonde hair, Milada fits the ideal. She is sent to a center outside of Pucshkau, Poland, along with one of her classmates and several Polish girls. She is separated from her family. While in center, Milada is renamed Eva and the other girls were renamed too. The camp is brutal, and she works hard to remember her name. But as hard as she works to remember she forgets a little but catches the memory at the nick of time. She spends two years around other girls including Siegrid, Elsa, Gerde,and Leisel, and Franziska. The camp and its staff seem cheerful on the outside but appear to be hiding something unpleasant.

Once judged sufficiently trained, she is adopted by a German family from F├╝rstenberg near Berlin. The Werner family is composed of Vater, (father in German) who is a high official at the Nazi government, Mutter (mother), and Elsbeth and Peter, her adoptive sister and brother. The only strange feature she notices is a horrible smell that penetrates the house nearly all the time. She later learns that that smell is from the bodies being burnt in the Ravensbruck camp, where the father of the adoptive family works at.

One day, as she is walking back to the house after a picnic with Elsbeth, Eva hears the Czech anthem being sung. Coming closer, she discovers a concentration camp with female prisoners singing the Czech national anthem. This brings back all the memories, enabling Milada to see clearly who she really is. Elsbeth explains to her that this is the Ravensbruck concentration camp and that her Vater is the head of the camp. Eva/Milada has some strange feelings that possibly her family could have been detained in this camp, meaning that all that time she could have been so close to her family.

By April 1945, the Nazis are losing on all the war fronts and Berlin is encircled by the Russian troops. Vater and Peter decide to go hiding and separates from the rest of the family, while Mutter, Elsbeth and Eva move to a shelter made in the basement to protect themselves. In May, Soviet Red Army troops come and ask for the papers left by Vater in his office, but Mutter tells them that she is not aware of anything. They leave without causing any harm to the family, but having ruined the house and taking everything in Vater's office.

A few days later, Hitler is declared dead and the war is over.

Some time after, an American female medic called Marci who works for the Red Cross Association comes to the house and announces that Milada's mother is alive and has launched a search after her daughter. Eva recognizes that she is the person they are looking for. At that moment Eva is Milada again. She is taken back to Czechoslovakia.

She meets her mother in Prague, discovering that her mother was indeed detained in Ravensbruck, a few steps away from the Werner household. Milada also learns that sadly her father and brother Jaro along with all the other men and teenage boys were shot by the German Nazis near a barn and then buried in a massive grave the same day after they were separated and that her grandma died in the Ravensbruck concentration camp because of her old age. She is also told that her sister Anechka was adopted into a German family and that the Red Cross are looking for her.

The mother of Milada was in poor condition but manages to recover overtime. Once ready they went back to Czechoslovakia, Lidice but discovers their house, as well as all other houses in Lidice, were completely destroyed and burnt down by the Germans, Milada and her mother live at the house of their cousin in Prague. Milada has to learn the Czech language nearly from scratch. Milada and her mother get closer again as they tell each other what happened during the horrific times of their separation. Finally, Milada manages to recover her true identity and pride.

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