ALLENTOWN, Pa. - Eva Derby has a story, though it's not one she's always been eager to share.
Eva was one of the hidden children during the Holocaust, but it took her a while to call herself a survivor.
"Please understand that at one point in history, a survivor was only a designation of somebody who had only been in the camps. Now, unfortunately, we have lost so many of those individuals, that I believe it's my responsibility to tell the story from a first-hand or eyewitness point of view," she says.
She lives in Allentown now, but Eva was a beautiful little Jewish girl born in Czechoslovakia in 1942, just as World War II began. She never knew her father. He was taken to a camp, a few months before Eva was born, and no one ever saw him again. Her mother would spend months hiding her parents in the root cellar, and Eva in the chimney.
"She put a pacifier in my mouth when the patrols would go by," Eva explains.
Eventually, when they were taken, a guard pulled them from the line and took Eva's mother home to be a maid, and Eva to be a playmate for his daughter.
"It just proves that surviving in great part, was just plain luck," Eva says.
When they were finally liberated, Eva and her mother managed to make it to America. Eva grew up, married and had a large family -- children and now grandchildren.
She says her mother never talked about the Holocaust, until one day, she told Eva her entire story.
"And three months later, my mother died," Eva said.
Eva now knows, she is a survivor. A study done in the village in which she was born found that of 150 babies born that year, Eva was one of 6 who lived.
Telling her story, and their stories, she says, is essential for our world.
"I hope people will be vigilant, and not let bad things happen again," Eva said.
And despite it all, Eva tells us, she has had a beautiful life.
"I will say this from the bottom of my heart, as an only child growing up as I did and, don't feel sorry for me, please, to have this amazing family, is the best revenge that I could have."
Daughter, mother, grandmother and survivor. Thankfully, Eva Derby's story lives on.