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Interview with Author and Holocaust Survivor Eva Kor

Updated on December 18, 2011
RGraf profile image

Rebecca Graf is a seasoned writer with nearly a decade of experience and degrees in accounting, history, and creative writing.

It is always an honor to be granted an interview by an author. It is also rare to be able to converse with someone who is the main character in a story. I was thrilled when Mrs. Eva Kor consented to an interview with me after I read and reviewed her book, Surviving the Angel of Death: The Story of a Mengele Twin in Auschwitz.

I have to admit that I was very intimidated as I wrote these questions out. She has been probably been asked these questions a million times. I wanted to know stuff while wanting to be polite in how I asked them. I wanted to show this woman whom I had grown to respect as I read her story how much I admired her.

Here I share with you my humble interview with Mrs. Eva Kor. And I hope that you will see a woman that I respect and admire and that you will want to read her story as well.

The Interview

What response do you get the most from others when they hear or read your story?

You inspire me to work hard and be better.

Has it gotten easier to tell it as the years have gone by?

Yes it has, and has become clearer to me how to tell that is easier for others

to understand.

When you first began to write of your experiences in Auschwitz, how did you feel?

It was a personal journey in trying to come in touch with my past, at first I remembered just bits and pieces, then more and more.

Was it hard to put into words everything that happened and how you felt inside?

es it was, at first for over seven years I could not feel, I only remembered and would end every lecture with the following statement, "I know it happened to me but it feels like I am standing up here and looking down at this little girl, than one day I began sobbing uncontrollably while I was describing my separation from my mother, and every lecture after that, I was sobbing but I never again said that I was telling the story of this little girl because she and I became one.

Where did you find inspirations of hope?

I could not let the Nazis win, the only thing I had my, and Miriam's life, staying alive was my resistance.

After your freedom was obtained, did you have a fear toward others, especially?

There was a lot of fear in my life being Jewish was still a problem in Communist Romania, I had experience being Jewish as a positive experience and this did not happen until 1950 when I arrived in Israel.

For me, one of the most moving parts of the book was your struggle with forgiveness towards those who harmed you and your sister. You also struggled with forgiveness towards your family and yourself. How hard were these battles?

I never struggled with forgiveness, I "stumbled" on it because I wanted to give a Nazi doctor a meaningful gift for his willingness to document the operation of the gas chambers in Auschwitz. I struggled for 10 month to find him a meaningful gift, and when "letter of forgiveness" popped in my head I discovered that I had the power to forgive.

Do you feel that Auschwitz has become a bigger part of your life as you have opened up and become more public about what happened?

Yes because people like you keep asking questions, and I deal with it much more often.

Of all the people you encountered in the concentration camp, even those that were holding you prisoner, was there one that you can look back on and see strength in them that you absorbed to survive?

No I did not, at my young age my ability understand the world was very limited, I turned inward and did see some other children who learned to organize food in camp, organize was stealing from the Nazis.

Sadly, to many this is just a story because the young generations never experienced such horror and tragedy. What message would you want to get across to them?

A. Never ever give up!, B. Treat and judge others based on their actions!

C. Forgive those who hurt you, and Heal yourself.

I’ve encountered many that claim history should not have to be studied. I’ve always believed that history is bound to repeat itself. How do you about that in relation to the Holocaust?

Yes history can repeat itself, the only way to prevent it and promote peace is by teaching victims to forgive which promotes inner peace and peace in world.

When you hear people say that the Holocaust did not happen, what is your response?

I tell them about Auschwitz and take them there to help them see and experience the place.

Who has inspired you the most in the years since you have left the concentration camp?

I remember a writer's words but not his name he said, "Live your life in such a way that when you look back at your life you will know that you have not wasted any time."

Have you found anyone who is desensitized to the events?

Not really, only Holocaust deniers who have a political agenda.

Thank You, Mrs. Kor

I would like to extend my thanks to Mrs. Kor again for the opportunity she gave me and for her inspiration she has given to thousands.

If you are interested in reading her book, check out the link below.


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    • RGraf profile image

      Rebecca Graf 2 years ago from Wisconsin

      @Peggy W and @moonlake, thanks for commenting. Forgetting only dooms us to repeat it. I wrote a paper on the possibilities of another such tragedy. It could easily happen when we let fear and power control us instead of human love.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 2 years ago from America

      A few weeks ago I talked with a friend of mine. She told me when she was very young she had a playmate, this playmate's father was Commandant of Auschwitz. I couldn't believe it, all these many years she had never told me that. The little girl was a baby at the time of Auschwitz and never really knew her father. She is still friends with my friend.

      It's sad that there are people out there that think we should all forget about the Holocaust. If that's what we should do, we should forget and get over all of history. I don’t think we want to do that.

      Vote up on your hub.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      It was wonderful for you to be able to interview this survivor of the Holocaust. There is a Holocaust museum in Houston and at the end of touring it is a viewing room where a film has been made of the survivors who live in the Houston area. As time passes, fewer and fewer survivors will remain alive to tell this story.

      It is important that things like this are documented so that future generations can come to know about these atrocities and hopefully will be influenced to never repeat them.

      Eva Kor is lucky to have survived. It is wonderful that she was able to forgive. Up votes and sharing.

    • RGraf profile image

      Rebecca Graf 2 years ago from Wisconsin

      Yes, she was very honest and open. I love to see her name on the news and know that I had a chance to interview her.

    • profile image

      Ayla kateson 2 years ago

      I love how open she was

    • profile image

      Brandy 5 years ago

      I just stumpled upon this article. I have met Ms. Kor and heard her lecture. She is an intense human being and has survived a very tragic time in world history. She should be commended for everything that she does on a daily basis to teach others about what really happened - not just what people "think" happened. My life is better because I met her. She has a huge and impactful story to tell. Unfortunately, there are people just like Max - too many of them. That is why we should be grateful for individulas like Eva - maybe someday they will open their eyes. Also, Max mentioned other people that have suffered - maybe Eva's books, presence, museum, and strength will help those who are too afraid to come out and tell their story. In my opinion, Eva is a catalyst to those who are ashamed or afraid. We should all applaud her and everyone else out there has done the same as she as: tell their story so that others may understand and so that others will not be afraid to tell their story. If everyone stayed quiet, we would only have what the government tells us. Think about it.

    • Sara Nowlin-Edens profile image

      Sara Nowlin-Edens 5 years ago

      Dear Max - Sorry, but your comments are quite uninformed. Length is not the strength of "major" so I guess you have to try harder to sling your poo :)

      Also - Maybe you should begin giving specific examples of what you think you know as in your previous posts - ALL of them since you are failing miserably at this point.

      Max - go get your own page. You are not worth discussing items of interest any longer. Sorry bud.

    • maxoxam41 profile image

      Deforest 5 years ago from USA

      Sweet pam, thanks for the definition, now I feel smarter. I am pretty sure that she had a ghost working with her! Can you give me the definition of ghost, in case?

      Patrick, let's not forget Vietnameses, Japaneses, Iraqis... Or maybe they did not suffer?

    • maxoxam41 profile image

      Deforest 5 years ago from USA

      As for you Sara, history doesn't have only one page. No ww2 wasn't major in the world history. The hundred years' war lasted longer, the first world war totalized 35 million deaths in four years...

      Maybe you should read more historical books and get your knowledge revised.

    • profile image

      PamD 5 years ago

      Very interesting interview.

      @ Max: An author is a writer of virtually any document. It is not necessary that you like what they write.

      Refer American Heritage Dictionary:

      au·thor (ô?th?r)


      1.a. The writer of a book, article, or other text.

      b. One who practices writing as a profession.

      2. One who writes or constructs an electronic document or system, such as a website.

      3. An originator or creator, as of a theory or plan.

    • maxoxam41 profile image

      Deforest 5 years ago from USA

      I'm not against the holocaust. It existed, it happened. But as I wrote it earlier, you should get over it. People who were its victims are hiding in Israel and are perpetuating the genocide. Maybe you should tell them to remember their past not us.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Good Hub. Interesting interview. I teach history, in particular German and Holocaust history at the college level. I am not familiar with her work, but I will pursue it. I have several Hubs based on graduate research about the Nazi concentration camp system.

    • RGraf profile image

      Rebecca Graf 5 years ago from Wisconsin

      Paradise, I understand. Thank you for you comments. I was very honored she consented. I appreciate all your comments. :)

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 5 years ago from Upstate New York

      I'm sorry, R. I sorta exploded over Max's comment. I really meant to comment on the article itself. It really must have been a tough interview; there are things you want to know but don't want to be insensitive to the feelings of the interviewee. I'd really like to know if her twin survived. I hope like heck they both did, but I have a feeling, not...

      I know you didn't want to get into the details of her sufferings. I'm sure there's a lot more details about what happened to this lovely, brave woman in the book. I think you focussed on the right material in your interview.

      The author shows courage, a lot of courage and lot of heart, to be able to extend her forgiveness after everything she suffered. I don't think I would ever be able to do that, though she's right--if she didn't do that, then the Nazis would have won.

    • profile image

      repatrick1 5 years ago

      In what way does it NOT make her an author. Is an author not someone who tells a story in words on paper? What is your problem? Please don't tell me that you equate ANY THING that is going on in this world today, such as homelessness, with the atrocities that occurred in that time "long ago!" What does the amount of time that has passed have to with the horrors that this woman and so many others suffered??? Are you saying "Get over it?" Is that what I'm hearing? Or are you just feeling sorry for yourself? You're damn right we musn't forget what the Nazi's did...EVER!!! If you don't agree, then you need to go live in another country, because you don't belong here.

    • Sara Nowlin-Edens profile image

      Sara Nowlin-Edens 5 years ago

      Max ... as the above poster said, "Get over yourself!" This was a horrible period of history and there are survivors still dealing with it, both those that were in the camps and those that lost family members to the Nazi regime. Yes, it was a long time ago, it was even before I was born and I'm a grandmother. The Holocaust and WWII was a major period of history, and will be so for a long time until something more horrendous and huge takes its place.

      An author is an author - writing a book makes one an author. Use a dictionary and get a clue.

      Each era does have its own evil. Perhaps you should objectively learn to write about those horrors. I'm certain that you are able to do that, rather than waste time attacking others. Put yourself in the hot seat :)

      Good job, RGraf. I will definitely look for this book for my reading pile. The Holocaust is something that is with us even today.

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 5 years ago from Upstate New York

      Max, I gotta say it--get OVER yourself! Ms. Kor is an author because she co-wrote a book. Duh! Talk about a denial syndrome, or something!

      She is part of the living history of the Holocaust. The survivors have an important story to tell. We don't want to forget, because we don't want that to happen again.

      You are right in that was a long time ago, and unfortunately there are more troubles in the world, taking people's lives and dignity, today. It is so sad and so true.

    • RGraf profile image

      Rebecca Graf 5 years ago from Wisconsin

      She is an author because she wrote a book. Also, anyone who writes on HubPages is considered an author as their work is published. Are you saying that anyone who writes an autobiography is not considered an author?

      Yes, you are right in that all eras have their own evil but if we don't study the past it is bound to repeat itself and is in those same places you just mentioned.

      I'm just not sure if you are against anything to do with the Holocaust, history, or authors in general.

    • maxoxam41 profile image

      Deforest 5 years ago from USA

      In what way is she an author? Because she wrote her own experience? Many people on this platform wrote their descent to homelessness or own experiences, nobody calls them authors. Or is because she was tortured be Mengele? Others were. Or is it because we mustn't forget what the Nazis did.

      The second world war ended in 1945, a long time ago... Today, people are dying from starvation in the horn of Africa, in America, women are stoned... Each era has its evil.

      Stop rehashing the past!