Holocaust survivor dies miles from Auschwitz after years of working as forgiveness advocate
An Indiana woman who survived the Holocaust died on Thursday just miles from the Auschwitz concentration camp where she survived Nazi torture.
Eva Mozes Kor died peacefully in Krakow, Poland, at the age of 85, according to the CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center she founded.
We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Eva Kor, Holocaust survivor, forgiveness advocate, and founder of CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center. Eva passed peacefully today, July 4th, 2019, at 7:10am local time in Krakow, Poland on the annual CANDLES trip.
— CANDLES Museum (@candlesmuseum) July 4, 2019
She was in Poland leading an educational summer trip to the concentration camp.
“Eva Kor has touched hundreds of thousands of people over her 85 years through her message of overcoming tragedy, finding forgiveness, and healing,” the Indiana-based museum said in a statement. “We hope Eva’s story continues to change the lives of those who hear it for many years to come.”
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) called her a “giant” and a “friend” in a statement to the Indianapolis Star.
“Everywhere she went, Eva brought light into darkness and provided comfort to those in pain unlike anyone we’ve ever met,” Holcomb said. “Her angelic spirit will live on in the countless souls she saved from ongoing confusion and torment.”
The Jewish native of Romania was 10 years old when her family was taken to the Nazi camp in 1944 where her mother, father and two older sisters were killed in the gas chamber.
Kor and her twin sister Miriam, however, were chosen for medical experiments by Nazi Dr. Josef Mengele, who was known as “Angel of Death.”
The girls were tortured for months and were injected with mixtures of germs before they were liberated, the outlet noted.
The sisters spent a decade in Israel before Kor resettled in Terre Haute, Ind., in 1960 where her family was targeted by someone painting a swastika on her house.
She first told her survival story in 1978 in the television miniseries called “Holocaust” and became an in-demand inspirational speaker and forgiveness advocate.
“I discovered I had one power,” Kor said in 2017. “What I tell everybody is that you — any victim, any person hurt — you have the same power. You have the power to forgive. And what it does, forgiveness, has nothing to do with the perpetrator. It has everything to do with the way the victim feels.”’
She founded CANDLES, or Children of Auschwitz Nazi Deadly Lab Experiments Survivors, in 1984 and opened a museum in 1995, the Star noted.
The 85-year-old was also an avid social media user with 39,000 followers and shared a photo of herself eating at a McDonald’s in Poland shortly before her death.
Can you believe that today I can get chicken McNuggets near Auschwitz? That would have been wonderful 75 years ago. They taste the same in every country and were delicious @McDonalds @TheStoryOfEva @candlesmuseum pic.twitter.com/crvCbKjZWR
— Eva Mozes Kor (@EvaMozesKor) July 3, 2019
She returned to the concentration camp where she was imprisoned many times to lead educational tours.
Her son, Alex Kor, told FOX59 that they had been on the selection platform at Auschwitz — the last place she saw her mother, father and older sisters — the day before she died
“For me as a son, it’s the last place I wanted her to pass away, the very last place besides Auschwitz itself,” Alex said of his mother dying in Poland. “For her to die at Auschwitz would have been worse, but this is a close second.”
— Alex Kor (@akisok15) July 3, 2019
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