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Eva Kotchever
Born
Chawa Złoczower

15 June 1891 (1891-06-15)
Mława, Poland
Died19 December 1943(1943-12-19) (aged 51–52)
Other namesChawa Złoczower, Eve Adams, Evelyn Addams, Eve AddamsI
Occupation(s) Librarian, writer, novelist, bartender
Signature

Eva Kotchever (1891 – 19 December 1943), known also as Eve Adams or Eve Addams, born as Chawa Złoczower, was a Polish-Jewish émigré librarian and writer, who is the author of Lesbian Love and from 1925 to 1926 ran a popular, openly lesbian literary salon in Greenwich Village, Lower Manhattan, called Eve's Hangout. It closed after Eva was convicted and jailed for obscenity and disorderly conduct, which resulted in her deportation to Poland in 1927. She was later arrested in France in 1943 and deported to the Auschwitz concentration camp December 17, where she died two days later, December 19.

Biography

Advertisement for Eve Adams' sales services published in Good Morning, featuring a drawing of her distinctive ("You will know her by her hair") haircut.

Chawa Zloczower was apparently born on 27 June 1891 in Mława, Poland, although records differ as to her exact birth date. [1] She was the eldest of seven children of Mordechai and Miriam Zloczower. [1] She was remembered by her family as the oldest sister who was "the right hand" of their mother. [2] She would later testify that she attended "primary school" in Mława and "graduated in Plotzk". [2] She was able to speak seven languages. [1]

At age 20, Eva emigrated to the United States through Ellis Island, New York, on the S.S. Vaderland in 1912, sailing from Antwerp, Belgium. [1] She began using the English version of her name, Eve, and dressed in men's clothing. [1] She became involved in the anarchist movement, distributing publications, attending rallies and befriending anarchists from Mother Earth circles such as Emma Goldman, Alexander Berkman, Ben Reitman and Henry Miller. [2] [1]

On 21 February 1918, Eve, as "Eve Zlotchever," wrote a fervid fan letter to actress Fania Marinoff, who starred in the free-love play, Karen. [2] Eve later became a cross-country traveling saleswoman of leftist periodicals, such as Mother Earth and The Liberator. By 1919, she was under surveillance by the "Radical Division" of the Bureau of Investigation, run by J. Edgar Hoover, because she was considered an "agitator". [1] [2]

From 1921 to 1923, Eve settled in Chicago, where she continued to sell Der Groyser Kundes and offered Russian lessons. For about eight months she ran with her partner, Swedish painter Ruth Norlander, a tea room named The Gray Cottage in Chicago, at 10 E Chestnut St, [3] a literary salon that also served as a "refuge for gay people," according to the New York Times. [1] Norlander (born Ruth Olson in 1889) exhibited two paintings, including one called Nudes in 1922 Chicago "No-Jury Exhibit," perhaps portraying Eve, who used to pose for Norlander. [2]

In 1923, Eve returned to New York, and signed a declaration of intention to become a US citizen. In February 1925, she wrote and published in 150 copies "for private circulation only" of Lesbian Love (written under the name Evelyn Adams), a collection of short stories describing lives of women of the lesbian community. [1] In March 1925, she opened Eve's Hangout, also known as Eve Addams' Tearoom in Greenwich Village. The only source that mentions a famous sign that allegedly read: "Men are admitted, but not welcome" is a 1926 article from Variety, which accused Adams of being financed by "a ring of rich women cultists" and inviting "mannish" women preying on girls. This led to Adams' biographer Jonathan Ned Katz to claim that the sign "probably never existed". [2]

She was arrested by New York City's Vice Squad for obscenity and disorderly conduct after undercover police detective Margaret Leonard entered Eve's Hangout and was shown Lesbian Love. [1] [4] Leonard said Kotchever made overt sexual advances to her. After a year in jail, where she met Mae West, [2] at Jefferson Market Prison, [5] she was deported to Poland in December 1927. [1] [6] [7]

Eve lived in Warsaw, Danzig, and Zoppot, writing to her friends in letters about the low wages and antisemitism in Poland. She regularly corresponded with Ben Reitman, even after her exile to Europe. [8] In 1930 she moved to Paris, where she wrote "a group of prison stories" planned to be published in The New Review (the journal ceased publication before their scheduled date). [1] [2] In Paris, she made a living by selling "dirty" books (such as works by James Joyce, Henry Miller, Anaïs Nin and D. H. Lawrence) to American tourists. [2] She met some of those artists ( Henry Miller, June Miller, and Anaïs Nin), [9] all regulars of Le Dôme Café, called Dômiers, in the bohemian neighborhood of Montparnasse. Meanwhile in America exaggerated rumours about Eve Adams circulated, [2] claiming that in Paris, she ran a bookstore and a café named Le Boudoir de l'Amour in Montmartre (Brevities, 16 November 1931), and that she actively supported the Second Spanish Republic, against the regime of General Francisco Franco. There is no factual evidence to those claims. [10]

In 1933, Eve met and began a relationship with Jewish singer Hella Olstein Soldner (who performed under the stage name Nora/Norah Waren), and lived with her even after Hella married. [1] They intended to emigrate to Palestine and join Eve's brother, but lacked financial means to do so. Eve also pleaded with Ben Reitman to help her get a return permit to the US. [2] In 1940, they moved to Southern France. [1]

In December 1943, Eve and Hella were arrested in Nice and imprisoned in the Drancy internment camp, near Paris, [1] with Zloczewer arriving there a few days before Olstein Soldner. [11] They were deported by cattle car train to Auschwitz in the Convoy 63 on 17 December 1943, with about 850 other Jews, only 31 of whom survived until liberation in 1945, not including Eve or Hella. [1] [12]

Legacy

Sign for Eva Kotchever street, Paris

Barbara Kahn wrote three plays about Eve Adams, all given full productions at Theater for the New City. "The Spring and Fall of Eve Adams," "Unreachable Eden" and "Island Girls." An excerpt from "Unreachable Eden was presented at the Lower East Side Festival of the Arts. [13] Kahn popularized the life of Eve Addams in the United States. [14]

A street in Paris, rue Eva Kotchever, in the 18th arrondissement of Paris is named after her, as well as a public school. [15]

Kotchever is now considered, [16] especially in Europe, an LGBT icon. [17] The City of New York [18] and the National Park Service [19] tend to keep her memory alive.

In 1999, what is believed to be the only remaining copy of Lesbian Love was found by Nina Alvarez, then a student in Albany, New York. [1]

In 2021, events in her memory organized by the city of Paris and the Mémorial de la Shoah are rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic in France. [20]

In 2021, American historian Jonathan Ned Katz published the first biography of Eve, named The Daring Life and Dangerous Times of Eve Adams, featuring the original text and illustrations of rediscovered Lesbian Love. [21] [1]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Palmer, Emily (2 July 2021). "Overlooked No More: Eve Adams, Writer Who Gave Lesbians a Voice". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 July 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Katz, Jonathan Ned (2021). The daring life and dangerous times of Eve Adams. Chicago. ISBN  978-1-64160-517-5. OCLC  1242879685.{{ cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher ( link)
  3. ^ "The Liberator" (PDF). June 1922. p. 34.
  4. ^ "Eve Adams' Tearoom". NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
  5. ^ Merwin, Ted (24 December 2013). "Imprisoned For Who She Was". jewishweek.timesofisrael.com. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
  6. ^ "Eve Addams' Tearoom". nyclgbtsites. Retrieved 17 December 2017.
  7. ^ ""Men Are Admitted, But Not Welcome" -- 129 MacDougal Street". Daytonian in Manhattan. 2 August 2010. Retrieved 17 December 2017.
  8. ^ "The Hobo Doctor | Jewish Currents Archive". Retrieved 19 May 2020.[ permanent dead link]
  9. ^ Gattuso, Reina (3 September 2019). "The Founder of America's Earliest Lesbian Bar Was Deported for Obscenity". Atlas Obscura. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
  10. ^ "Eve Adams: Chronology · EVE ADAMS CHRONOLOGY · OutHistory: It's About Time". outhistory.org. Retrieved 8 June 2021.
  11. ^ "Eve Adams: Corrections · EVE ADAMS: CORRECTIONS · OutHistory: It's About Time". outhistory.org. Retrieved 8 June 2021.
  12. ^ "Shownotes: Eve's Tearoom Part 2". Queer Ephemera. Archived from the original on 17 March 2020.
  13. ^ "Barbara Kahn "Unreachable Eden" Eve Adams (Eva Kotchever) May 25 2014 - TNC". YouTube. Retrieved 17 December 2017.
  14. ^ "Eve Adams in Paris". www.nytheatre-wire.com.
  15. ^ "Ecole élémentaire publique Eva Kotchever". www.education.gouv.fr (in French).
  16. ^ "17 LGBT landmarks of Greenwich Village". 6sqft.
  17. ^ "It happened here! | Things to Do | reviews, guides, things to do, film". Time Out New York. Archived from the original on 29 February 2020. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  18. ^ "Eve Adams' Tearoom". NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project.
  19. ^ "LGBTQ America: A Theme Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer History" (PDF). National Park Foundation. 2016.
  20. ^ "Paris Mémorial de la Shoah". www.memorialdelashoah.org/en/ (in French).
  21. ^ "The Daring Life and Dangerous Times of Eve Adams". www.goodreads.com. Retrieved 7 June 2021.