‘She would also tell other people not to cry’ | Daily News


 

Holocaust survivor who was subject of inhumane medical experiments at Auschwitz dies at 85

‘She would also tell other people not to cry’

Forgiveness can help us to heal

Holocaust survivor Eva Kor, who championed forgiveness even for those who carried out the Holocaust atrocities, died Thursday during an overseas trip for a museum she founded in Indiana, her son said.

Kor was in Krakow, Poland, for an annual educational trip with the CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Terre Haute, Indiana, and died in the morning in her hotel room.

While her health had recently improved, Kor had a tough year medically with a heart surgery and respiratory issues, said her son Alex Kor, who was with her when she died.

‘My mom would be mad at me for crying,’ he said in a phone interview from Poland.

‘She would also tell other people not to cry to try and follow in her footsteps to try to make all wrongs right and make the world a better place. That’s her legacy. That’s her gift.’

Mötley Crüe bassist and songwriter Nikki Sixx paid tribute to Kor, saying that she ‘adopted me as her son.’

The musician who was born Frank Carlton Serafino Feranna, Jr was abandoned by his single mother and raised by his grandparents.

‘Today as the earthquake hit us in LA I got a call that my friend Eva had passed,’ Sixx wrote on his Instagram page.

‘She was [a] special person who survived so much evil and yet refused to let that define her.

‘She traveled the world teaching forgiveness. She texted me a few days ago saying she was going back to Auschwitz AGAIN on another mission to educate people and teach forgiveness.

‘We met a few years ago and she told me she would like to adopt me as her son.

‘She knew my story.

‘As sad as today is I can like so many be happy, proud and joyful that Eva came into our lives.

‘Travel safe sweet lady.’

Eva Kor was a Jewish native of Romania who was sent in 1944 to the Auschwitz concentration camp, where most of her family was killed.

She and her twin sister survived, but they were subjected to inhumane medical experiments.

She later moved to Terre Haute, Indiana, where she lived for over three decades. She married a fellow Holocaust survivor, raised a family and worked in real estate.

In 1985, she founded CANDLES, or Children of Auschwitz Nazi Deadly Lab Experiments Survivors.

Kor’s sister Miriam Zeiger died in 1993 of cancer.

Kor and Zeiger were one of 1,500 sets of twins who were subjected to inhumane experiments by Dr. Josef Mengele, the notorious ‘Angel of Death’.

The sisters evaded being gassed on arrival at the death camp thanks to Mengele’s twisted obsession with twins.

He experimented on siblings in a sickening attempt to develop genetic techniques for Hitler’s dream of creating a ‘pure’ Aryan race.

Mengele used 1,500 sets of twins in his experiments, and only an estimated 180 to 250 individuals survived.

Kor often gave lectures, wrote an autobiography and appeared in documentaries, sharing her story and message of forgiveness, even for Mengele.

During the annual trips to Poland, she would give tours of Auschwitz.

In April 2015, Kor made headlines around the world when she publicly embraced a former SS officer known as the ‘bookkeeper of Auschwitz’.

She hugged Oskar Groening, then 94, in a court before he was found guilty of facilitating the mass murder of 3,000 people.

Groening died in March 2018 just before he was about to begin his sentence. He was 96 years old.

Speaking in a new Channel 4 documentary, Kor said: ‘I believe forgiveness is such a powerful thing. It is free. It works. It has no side effects. And this is what our world desperately needs besides punishment.’

Despite her ordeal, Kor even unofficially adopted the grandson of SS commander Rudolf Hoess, who oversaw the murder of more than 1 million people at Auschwitz.

‘The themes of Eva’s life are apparent. We can overcome hardship and tragedy. Forgiveness can help us to heal,’ a museum statement said.

‘And everyone has the power and responsibility to make this world a better place.’

Museum officials said the Indiana center will be closed until Tuesday in honor of Kor’s memory.

In 2017, Kor was named as a recipient of the Sachem Award, which is Indiana’s highest honor.

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb said the ‘world lost a giant.’

‘Everywhere she went, Eva brought light into darkness and provided comfort to those in pain unlike anyone we’ve ever met,’ he said in a statement.

A public memorial service is planned. Museum officials said details would be released at a future date.

Kor is survived by her husband and two children.

-Daily Mail


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