Holocaust survivor visits Valpo University
The Valparaiso International Center conjoined with the Valparaiso University College of Arts and Sciences to welcome Holocaust survivor Eva Kor to speak at Valparaiso University’s Harre Union Ballrooms at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, November 12. It was a full room ranging from school aged children to older aged adults.
Kor, along with her family, were the only Jews in their small Romanian village. In 1944, the family was abducted and taken to a Nazi death camp in Auschwitz. There Kor and her twin sister Miriam were separated from the rest of their family, and forced to be medically experimented on by the infamous Josef Mengele, the “Angel of Death”.
She and her sister fought to survive until the liberation in January of 1945, but their relatives didn’t make it.
“To die in Auschwitz was easy. To live was a full time job,” Kor said.
The sisters made their way to Israel after the war, and Eva married an American. After they married, Kor and her husband moved to Terre Haute, Indiana, where she established the Candles Holocaust Museum and Education Center.
Kor is still making strides into getting her story out, and she has truly touched the hearts of many of her listeners. Kor has written many books and given lectures to thousands of people about her story and the time she spent in the camps.
“To survive in Auschwitz you needed two things: a guardian angel and an unbearable will to live,” Kor said.
Many of those who listen to Kor speak leave with a very different mindset. They leave with a feeling of inspiration but also a hint of guilt. Her speaking makes people feel like all the complaining in life hasn’t been worth it, and there is so much more to live for. This was felt by many of the LPHS students who attended the event.
“It made me realize how small our everyday struggles are,” Reilly Briggs, senior attendee, said.
Her stop at Valparaiso University is just one of many speaking engagements on her calendar. She travels around the world to spread her message.
When professors at Boston College called and asked her to speak about Nazi medicine, they strongly emphasized her bringing a Nazi doctor along for the trip. She tracked Hans Munch, the man responsible for running the gas chamber. Munch and Kor took a trip to Auschwitz together, where they signed a document stating the authenticity of Holocaust events.
Kor wanted to work on her self-healing after these events, and that’s why in 1995, she wrote a letter of forgiveness to her captors. She event went on to write a private letter to Josef Mengele, the doctor known for experimenting on twins, but that letter was never shared to the public.
Her story is one that everyone needs to hear. That is why it is so important that she travels around teaching valuable lessons, and the world could learn a great deal from what Kor has to say.
For more information about Eva Kor and her story, visit her site.