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Holocaust survivor Eva Kor dies at 85

Holocaust survivor Eva Kor died Thursday morning.

Posted: Jul 4, 2019 11:38 AM
Updated: Jul 5, 2019 6:35 AM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WLFI) — A holocaust survivor and beloved Indiana resident died Thursday morning, according to the CANDLES Holocaust Museum in Terre Haute.

Kor died at 7:10 a.m. while on her annual trip to Krakow, Poland.

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 during a visit to Lafayette in 2018.

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. 

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 in 2018.

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. 

Kor founded the CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center. Since it's opening in 1984, it has helped locate more than 80 Mengele survivors.

Governor Eric Holcomb released the following statement:

“The world just lost a giant with Eva Kor’s passing. Janet and I loved and adored her. Everywhere she went, Eva brought light into darkness and provided comfort to those in pain unlike anyone we’ve ever met. From her against all odds survival as a young girl in Auschwitz to her peace spreading message based from home in Terre Haute, Indiana, her relentless and optimistic example inspired the world. Her angelic spirit will live on in the countless souls she saved from ongoing confusion and torment. Janet and I are reminded just how blessed we are to have her as a friend. We will miss her laughter, her wisdom and her passion. We call on every Hoosier to look above on this Independence Day and say a prayer for Eva and the family and nation she leaves behind.”

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