Sunday, February 01, 2009

MEET MY NEW HERO! (updated 9/15/09)

Never again,” Eva Kor says with a bulldogged determination. “We will overcome prejudice through education, education, education.” And when Eva speaks, people usually listen. I heard her speak these words about prejudice and the Holocaust as one of the lucky participants at her 75th birthday celebration yesterday.

Eva knows about prejudice and persecution. She was a Transylvania-born twin of Jewish descent who became a victim of Nazi experiments at age ten under the cruel hand of Dr. Josef Mengele. She spent nearly ten months in Auschwitz-Birkenau, the deadliest of World War II’s death camps, and has an amazing story of survival and triumph.

At the 50th Anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz (January 27, 1995), Eva publicly declared her forgiveness of Dr. Mengele and the Nazi’s for what they did to her and her family. She was accompanied by former Nazi Dr. Hans Munch, a man she was able to personally forgive for the role he played at the death camp.

“Forgiveness is really nothing more than an act of self-healing and self-empowerment. I call it a miracle medicine. It is free, it works and has no side effects” (excerpt from TheForgivenessProject.com)

As I’ve been studying the Holocaust over the past few months, I’ve found it hard to wrap my mind around the atrocities of Hitler’s regime. I’ve found it even more difficult to forgive my own country for standing idly by while these atrocities were committed. It’s not like our government didn’t know. They willingly chose ignorance and inaction.

After meeting Eva in the flesh, how can I not forgive? Her message is almost as big as her personality, and very moving.

Hitler saw Jews as an infestation of sewer rats and treated them as such in his propaganda and his death camps. Eva grew up under his tyranny but would not succomb to it. She’s outlasted and overcome the hate and incarnate evil he represents. She was named a 2008 Hero of Forgiveness by The Forgiveness Alliance, but more than that, Eva Moses Kor is my new hero.

Links of interest:

Never Again! online Holocaust memorial
http://holokauston.wordpress.com/
(Eva's mentioned here.)

CANDLES Holocaust Museum Site
http://www.candlesholocaustmuseum.org/

Victims of Mengele Site
http://www.auschwitz.dk/mengele/id19.htm

19 Stars of Indiana Book
http://www.iupress.indiana.edu/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=93168

1 comment:

Chris said...

for a review of eva's book echoes from auschwitz, please visit my online Holocaust memorial Never Again!