Eva Kor Eva Kor 

Holocaust survivor who forgave Nazis dies age 85

Eva Kor, who survived horrific medical experiences during the Holocaust and later called for forgiveness of Nazi perpetrators, has died at the age of 85.

By Stefan J. Bos

It has now been confirmed that Eva Mozes Kor passed away during one of her annual visits to Poland where she gave tours of what was the death camp at Auschwitz.

Born in Romania, she was deported with her Jewish family to Auschwitz in 1944.

Unlike the rest of her family, she and her twin sister Miriam survived.

But they were abused by the notorious Josef Mengele, known as the Angel of Death.

He was involved in selecting for death many of the 1.1 million Jews murdered in the gas chambers. And as a doctor at Auschwitz from 1943, Mengele, carried out torture on more than 1,000 twins and other Auschwitz prisoners as part of his horrific medical experiences.

Recalling experiences

During her life, Eva Kor recalled: " We were used in experiments six days a week, including three days in observation sitting naked."

She developed a high fever and was given two weeks to live, but eventually recovered. Her sister died in 1993 after a life of health difficulties she had suffered since Auschwitz.

Mengele disappeared following the Second World War: DNA tests later confirmed that he had drowned in Brazil in 1979.

The Nazis murdered six million Jews in World War Two.

But Eva Kor made it a point of forgiving Nazi perpetrators, some of whom she even met. "I no longer carry any anger or hatred towards anybody. That is not because they deserve it, but I deserve to live free of it. But once I don't have animosity and anger towards them, you're opening yourself up to a lot of other human emotions," she said.

Kindness gesture

"For the life of me, I do not understand why nobody cares to endorse my gesture of kindness towards an old man or his gesture of loving towards me. Why is that such a big crime,", Kor added.

In 2015, she attended the German trial of former Auschwitz guard Oskar Gröning, known as the book-keeper of Auschwitz as he was responsible for counting the belongings confiscated from prisoners.

Gröning was eventually jailed for four years for being an accessory to the murder of at least 300,000 people.

But Eva Kor reached out to Gröning and shook his hand, and he responded by kissing her on the cheek. She also established a small Holocaust museum in her adoptive home in the United States.

So people would never forget the Holocaust and her legacy of seeking a new life without revenge.

06 July 2019, 12:33