Eva Mozes Kor, who had survived the holocaust as a young child, passed away on July 4, 2019, during her annual trip with students to Auschwitz. But Eva’s legacy will live on and so will her life-changing message.
Eva Mozes Kor was just ten years old when she was sent to Auschwitz. While her parents and two older sisters were murdered there, she and her twin sister Miriam were subjected to medical experiments at the hands of Dr. Joseph Mengele. Later on, when Miriam fell ill due to the long-term effects of the experiments, Eva embarked on a search for their torturers. But what she discovered was the remedy for her troubled soul; she was able to forgive them.
Told through anecdotes and in response to letters and questions at her public appearances, she imparts a powerful lesson for all survivors that guilt, anger, resentment, and shame are a waste of energy. Forgiveness of our tormentors and ourselves is the end of victimization, a release from pain, and fosters resilience. This kind of forgiveness is not an act of self-denial. It actively releases people from trauma, allowing them to escape from the grip of their former tormentors, cast off the role of victim, and begin the struggle against forgetting in earnest.
“She dedicated herself decades later to telling of the Holocaust horrors spawned by religious and racial hatred, while preaching the power of forgiveness as a means of healing from devastating trauma.”—Richard Goldstein, New York Times obituaries, July 7, 2019