- Education and Science
Eva Kor-Holocaust Survivor With A Message
Eva Moses Kor- A Holocaust Survivor with a Powerful Message
Eva Moses Kor was born in a little town in Romania, back in 1934. By the time she was 9, her family was forced out of their house and into a ghetto and then consequently sent to one of many death camps set up in Poland. She was part of the Mengele “Twin Experiments” in Aushcwitz back in 1944 during the Holocaust. Facing over 10 months of painful human experiments, Eva and her sister were 2 of the approximately 300 found alive out of 1500 at the time of liberation on January 27, 1945.
I recently watched a very touching documentary she made called “Forgiving Mengele” and I must say it touched me. I felt honored to have even learned her story. The documentary was almost an hour and a half long, however there was only maybe 5 minutes tops, that was focused on her time in Auswitz and her horrible ordeal or losing her whole family besides her twin sister at the age of nine.
Instead of focusing on her pain and the Holocaust, she focuses more on the after. She married a fellow Holocaust survivor while he was vacationing in Israel and together they moved to the United States. Terre Haute, Indiana to be more precise. There they raised a son and a daughter and through the years tried to come to terms with the nightmares and the constant fears that still haunted her.
In 1984 Eva Kor founded an organization called Children of Aushwitz Nazi Deadly Experiment Survivors, or CANDLES for short. Eva wanted to shed light on the Holocaust and she was searching for other survivors of the Mengele Twins.
Both her sister and herself with injected repeatedly with unknown substances, they almost killed Eva when she was a child. Her sister had a kidney that never grew since the injections by the Nazi doctor. Eva gave her sister the kidney she was needing and started searching for the other Twins to see if they had similar problems. She was also looking for reports of Dr. Mengele in hopes of maybe finding out what he had injected them with.
Her sister died in 1993 before Eva could find those files, actually to this day no one knows what they used. Her sister’s death haunted Eva, but instead of giving up, she searched harder for answers. Her search brought her to the only SS Doctor that was acquitted in the trials that ensued after the liberation, Dr. Hans Munich. Munich did not take part in the experiments but he did know Mengele. Eva went to meet with him seeking answers that he could not answer. Dr Mengele did not really keep good records and much was burned in the Nazi bunkers in Berlin.
She may not have gotten the answers she was looking for, but she did ask Munich to come with her to the 50 year celebration to admit on the record that there was gas chambers in the camp, as this was contested by many in the Nazi party. His presence had many negative feelings as the other twins gathered around. Their displeasure was intensified when Mrs. Kor announced to them and the world that she forgave the Nazis and everyone that had hurt her as a child.
Many survivors did not agree with her forgiveness. Many challenged her reasons and methods.
After her proclamation of forgiveness, Eva started to give the speeches she started in 1976 a new focus. She now focused on forgiveness, spreading her message to nearby schools and conferences. Her thought on forgiveness was not about relieving the Nazi’s of their guilt, more she was taking back her power from her perpetrators. In forgiving she was allowing herself to heal and not let them control her and her life any longer. Many survivors still do not understand Eva’s need to forgive, however this act has been said to have finally “freed” her from her captors.
Among many other things, Eva also started and realized a museum in her hometown of Indiana with holocaust artifacts, where she to this day still gives lectures for individuals and youth groups. The museum was burned down in the 90’s as a hate crime, however Eva with the help of the community had it rebuilt bigger and better within 15 months.
Throughout her life, Eva’s strength and determination have helped her to overcome all odds. Her life is an inspiration and her thoughts on forgiveness are very thought provoking. Holocaust survivors are dying all around us and this is a past that we must remember. I urge you to watch her documentary and to learn of the history that has made this world what it is.
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