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Arthur Public Library hosts Alex Kor

The room was full for the presentation by Alex Kor at the Arthur Public Library on Saturday, March 4.

The Arthur Public Library was honored to host a large crowd which very much enjoyed the presentation on Saturday, March 4, by Alex Kor, son of famed Holocaust survivor and forgiveness advocate Eva Kor. Alex grew up in Terre Haute, Indiana and is a podiatrist. The family came to live in Terre Haute because the soldier who liberated the camp where his father, Mickey, also a Holocaust survivor, was held was from Terre Haute. After liberation Mickey kept in touch with that soldier who made it possible for Mickey to come to Indiana. Once there Mickey attended Indiana State University to become a pharmacist and where his P.E. teacher was John Wooden, a name many will recognize. They kept in touch for the rest of their lives. Mickey was also a U.S. veteran of the Korean War.

As for Alex’s mother, Eva, she lived in Rumania and was taken to Auschwitz, along with her family, including her twin sister in 1944. There she was separated from the rest of her family except for her twin sister. The two became part of the infamous Joseph Mengele’s twins experiments. They managed to survive and were liberated at the end of January, 1945. In 1950 the girls went to live in Israel where Eva joined the Israeli army and Miriam (her twin) became a nurse. Mickey and Eva met in 1960 and were married a few months later. They raised their family, Alex and his sister, in Terre Haute. They lived a relatively normal Midwestern life although they did encounter some anti-Semitism.

In 1978, the mini-series “Holocaust” was aired and this changed things for the family. At this point, Eva became more outspoken about the experiences of Holocaust survivors. Later on Eva and Miriam founded CANDLES which is Candles Holocaust and Museum Education Center located in Terre Haute. This organization was an effort to locate other Mengele twins who survived. As a result they were able to locate 122 other twins in ten countries and on four continents. The museum opened in 1995.

Each year in January the state of Indiana celebrates Eva Education Day where schools are encouraged to read her books and watch documentaries on the life of Eva Kor.

Later in life, Eva Kor became a bit controversial when she took part in a documentary, “Forgiving Dr. Mengele, A Film About Healing.” Many did not like this idea at all and she received a lot of criticism but, as recounted by her son, doing that seemed to give her some peace and, as she explained, she did not excuse what he had done. As she stated, “Anger and hate are seeds that germinate war. Forgiveness is a seed of Peace! It is the ultimate act of self-healing.”

The Arthur Public Library has been offering some very interesting programs lately. The staff of the library deserve a big note of thanks for bringing these programs to our town. Also of note is that the library has several books and other material on the life of Eva Kor.

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