Eva Kor

Eva on Forgiveness

This week, in celebration of the upcoming 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, we are posting remembrances of Eva Kor—an internationally known Holocaust survivor, human rights and forgiveness advocate, author of Surviving the Angel of Death: The Story of a Mengele Twin in Auschwitz, and subject of the Eva: A-7063 documentary.

Eva Mozes Kor was 10 years old when she arrived in Auschwitz. While her parents and two older sisters were taken to the gas chambers, she and her twin, Miriam, were subjected to sadistic medical experiments by the Angel of Death, Dr. Josef Mengele. Eva not only survived, but she transcended this experience, dedicating her life to healing the world.

In Eva Kor’s final speech, intended to be given at the ceremonies marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, she makes clear how forgiveness is a personal choice that can profoundly change each one of us, for our own sake, but also for the benefit of the world:

“My power from within is forgiveness as a way to heal and empower myself. I suggest that we all have the power to forgive those who have wronged us, not for the benefit of them, but because all of us finally deserve to live free in a way that allows us to share our memories without reliving the unbearable and agonizing pain of our pasts with every spoken word or shared memory. By doing so, we challenge any perpetrator, possible perpetrator, or denier of today or the future by empowering ourselves and others with the undeniable and unforgettable truth of what happened here, each and every day. Our memories will provide the necessary fuel to light the way to hope, healing, understanding, goodwill, and peace for humanity. Like our vivid memories, the horrible crimes against us and millions of others can never be washed away or forgotten, but how we deal with these memories is our choice. Let there be a new beginning which includes hope for mankind, and let it begin with us.”