TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind (WLFI) - A special guest was in attendance at Wea Ridge Middle School today. Holocaust survivor Eva Mozes Kor spoke to students about her experiences.
"It was such a massive failure of human rights,” said Kor, reflecting back on the Holocaust.
She was only six years old when Axis forces occupied her Romanian village in 1944. Shortly after, her family was forced to the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland. "Everything was crazy and they treated us like we weren't human beings. Even worse than animals,” said Kor.
While imprisoned, Eva and her twin sister Marian were subject to human experimentation conducted by Doctor Josef Mengele. She recalled not understanding the magnitude of where she was, until she saw other children who had passed away. "When I saw the dead children on the floor I was very upset that somehow they couldn't stay alive,” said Kor.
Kor quickly made survival a priority. "I did not want evil to win. My only way of stopping evil and defeating them was by staying alive,” stated Kor.
On January 27th, 1945, the Soviet Army liberated the camp. Only Eva and Marian survived out of their immediate family.
Eva gained international attention when she attended the trial of former Nazi Oskar Gröning She forgave Gröning for his actions as they shared an embrace. "I really want to point out what happens if we don't try to get along. Things don't get better by themselves, there is no push button that is going to make us get along,” said Kor.
Now Eva now travels, lecturing about the importance of forgiveness. "If we can plant a seed in the minds of young people that they can be the difference, those little seeds will germinate,” said Kor.
Apart from lecturing, Kor founded the CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center. Since it's opening in 1984 it has helped locate more than 80 Mengele survivors.