We recently had the opportunity to partner with Jessica Stapleton-Stern and the j. jane project to create a Tribute for an incredible human being and role model, Eva Mozes Kor. Eva is a holocaust survivor, public speaker, and an advocate for forgiveness.
We are proud to share her story here and grateful for the opportunity to use Tribute to help people around the globe show their appreciation for Eva and her important, enduring message.
Eva was born in a small village in Romania in 1934 where she lived with her father, mother, and three sisters. When Eva and her twin sister Miriam were six, their village was occupied by Nazis. Four years later, because they were the only Jewish family, the Mozes’ were taken to the regional ghetto. They were then loaded on to a cattle car and transported to Auschwitz.The Mozes family spent nearly 70 hours without food or water before arriving at the selection platform at Auschwitz. When referring to this platform, Eva says “no strip of land in the world has seen as many families ripped apart.” The twins gripped their mother’s hands, but quickly noticed their father and older sisters were gone, never to be seen again. Not too long after, they were separated from their mother as well, and never saw her again.
Eva and Miriam endured horrific experiences at Auschwitz. Because they were twins, they were used as human guinea pigs for experiments along with other groups of children under the control of Doctor Josef Mengele. Thousands of twins and other children were harmed during these experiments and died as a result. Eva became extremely ill, but her tenacity helped her and her twin Miriam stay alive. Out of the thousands of children, only an estimated 200 survived and were liberated from the camp in 1945, including Eva and Miriam. The twins left Auschwitz with no other members of their family remaining except for each other. They spent months in refugee camps before returning to Romania and later Israel where they finally felt free.
Eva returned to Auschwitz 50 years later and stood at the same place where many people had tragically lost their lives. Surprisingly, Eva decided to forgive the Nazis for what they had done. Once she did this, the weight of the suffering she had endured for all those years was lifted from her. In 1984, she founded CANDLES, through which she located other twins that had survived Dr. Mengele’s experiments at Auschwitz and helped make their stories be heard. Although forgiveness healed her, it did not mean she would ever forget. Her determination helped her emerge from a life filled with suffering as a role model and inspiration to others. Eva is now an outstanding community leader, educator, and promoter of human rights.
Thank you Eva, we will never forget you and your message.
“Getting even has never healed a single person.” – Eva Mozes Kor