Christian woman who survived concentration camp prepares to die in US prison over FACE Act charges

Eva Edl
Eva Edl | Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A Christian woman who survived a communist concentration camp in Eastern Europe recently explained how she is making preparations to die in an American prison after being charged by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) for protesting at abortion clinics.

Eva Edl, 88, was among the 11 protesters the Biden DOJ slapped with charges for allegedly violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act when they protested outside the Carafem Health Center Clinic near Nashville on March 15, 2021.

In October 2022, the DOJ accused them of intimidating and interfering "with employees of the clinic and a patient who was seeking reproductive health services" at the clinic. A federal judge found her and four others guilty earlier this month, and she awaits sentencing on July 30.

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Edl also faces charges stemming from an August 2020 protest at an abortion clinic in Sterling Heights, Michigan, and an April 2021 protest at a clinic in Saginaw, Michigan. Collectively, Edl potentially faces 11 years in prison and $350,000 in fines.

Edl told The Daily Signal that she is already resigned to the possibility that she will be imprisoned until the end of her life for her protests, during which she and others attempted to dissuade women from going through with their planned abortions.

"When I was indicted, I began to prepare to die there," she said. "Right now, I am ambivalent. … I’m doing the best I can to get ready. Haven’t talked to a funeral director yet."

"I’m just being sensible," she added. "There’s no guarantee that I survive it."

Edl further warned that the U.S. government is increasingly resembling the communist regime her family escaped, recalling to the outlet how she was only 9 years old when she and her family were taken in cattle cars to the Gakovo concentration camp in what was then Yugoslavia.

Edl's family were Danube Swabians, a German-speaking ethnic group in Yugoslavia that was targeted for extermination in the wake of World War II by Josip Broz, the country's communist president.

"We were packed body to body, and being a small child, I could hardly breathe," she remembered. "We had no food, no water." She added that her mother found it inconceivable that the government would persecute them until it happened, which she suggested should be a cautionary tale for Americans today.

According to her website, Edl was rescued from Gakovo, escaped to Austria and ultimately wound up in the U.S., where she became involved in the pro-life movement after learning about what she has described as America's "death camps." She has been arrested 46 times since the 1980s for her protests at abortion clinics, which she said never involved violence.

She recalled that she was even arrested on the order of former Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., when she went to his office in the 1990s to complain about his support for the FACE Act, the repeal of which some Republicans have lately been calling for amid the increasing number of pro-life activists who are being charged under it during the Biden presidency.

Edl's vivid memories of being rounded up and hauled off to Gakovo for extermination have animated her protests and steeled her against her arrests, she told The Daily Signal. She likened the situation to her fellow Yugoslavians who allowed their fear to prevent them from doing all they could to stand in the way of a wicked government perpetrating evil.

"What if citizens of my country would have overcome their fear, and a number of them stood on those railroad tracks between the gate of the entrance to the death camp and the train?" she said. "The train would have to stop. And while the guards on those trains would be busy rounding up the ones that were in front of the train, another group could have come in, pried open our cattle car and possibly set us free, but nobody did."

She noted that some openly wept as the cattle cars carrying the victims rumbled along the train tracks toward the death camp, but their tears proved ultimately useless because nobody actually took a stand.

"So, when we place our bodies between the woman and the clinic, we buy time to get our sidewalk counselors the opportunity to speak with women, and hopefully open their hearts with love for their babies and let their babies live," she said regarding the goals of the tactics she and others take when they protest.

"I feel very strongly, because of my background, that human life is sacred," Edl said. "Government does not have the authority to permit what God forbids. And murder is forbidden by God."

Former President Donald Trump mentioned Edl's case during a speech at the National Religious Broadcasters 2024 International Christian Media Convention in Nashville in February.

Trump presented the treatment of Edl and the other defendants in Tennessee as an example of Biden's DOJ exhibiting communist-like tactics by targeting Christians, even as they leave the southern border wide open while allowing many criminals to break the law with impunity.

"This is a communist state, just so you understand," Trump said. "This is the beginning of a communist state, whether it's [my indictments] or any one of another thousand things that are going on. This is the only way they're going to be able to stay in office because they're running a regime that is so incompetent. Nobody's ever seen anything like it."

Jon Brown is a reporter for The Christian Post. Send news tips to

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