Eva Mozes Kor

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Eva Mozes Kor
Eva Mozes Kor.jpg
Eva Mozes Kor
Eva Mozes

(1934-01-31) January 31, 1934 (age 85)
ResidenceTerre Haute, Indiana, U.S.
Other namesEva Kor
CitizenshipUnited States
Known forFounded CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center
Spouse(s)Michael Kor
ChildrenAlex Kor, Rina Kor

Eva Mozes Kor (born January 31, 1934) is a Holocaust survivor. Along with her twin sister Miriam, Kor was subjected to human experimentation under Josef Mengele at the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II. She lost both of her parents and two older sisters to the Holocaust; only she and Miriam survived. Kor founded the organization CANDLES (an acronym for "Children of Auschwitz Nazi Deadly Lab Experiments Survivors") in 1984. Through the program, she has located 122 other survivors of Mengele.[1]

In 1984, Kor founded CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center to educate the public about eugenics, the Holocaust, and the power of forgiveness. Kor received international attention when she publicly forgave the Nazis for what had been done to her. This story was later explored in the documentary Forgiving Dr. Mengele. She has authored or co-authored 6 books, and has taken part in numerous memorial services and projects.

Early life[edit]

Eva Mozes was born in 1934 in Porţ, Romania to Alexander and Jaffa Mozes, farmers who were only Jewish residents in the area. She had 3 siblings named Edit, Aliz, and her twin sister Miriam.[2]

In 1940, when Eva and Miriam were five, a Hungarian armed guard occupied their village. In 1944, the family was transported to the regional ghetto in Şimleu Silvaniei. A few weeks later, they were transported to the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp. During the time at the ghetto, they did not have housing and they had to make tents out of sheets. The Nazis would come and tear it down, and torture them all.

They were quickly noticed as twins and taken from their family. Their family, along with others from the ghetto, were sent to the gas chambers. Since Eva and Miriam were twins, the girls were selected as part of a group of children used in experiments under the direction of Josef Mengele. Approximately 1500 sets of twins were subjected to these experiments, and most died from them. Eva herself became very ill, but she lived and helped Miriam survive.

The Soviet Army liberated the camp on January 27, 1945. Found alive were approximately 180 children, most of whom were twins.[3] They were first sent to a convent in Katowice, Poland, which was being used as an orphanage. By searching a nearby displaced person's camp, they located Rosalita Csengeri, a friend of their mother who also had twin daughters used by Mengele. Csengeri took responsibility for Eva and Miriam, helping them return to Romania after liberation.

After the war, Eva and Miriam lived in Cluj, Romania, with their Aunt Irena (also a survivor) where they went to school and attempted to recover from their experiences at Auschwitz and adjust to life under Communist rule. In 1950, at age 16, they received permission to leave Romania and emigrated to Israel, arriving in the port city of Haifa. Eva attended an agricultural school and then attained the rank of Sergeant Major in the Israeli Army Engineering Corps. In 1960, she married Michael Kor, an American citizen and a fellow Holocaust survivor, and joined him in the United States.

Time at Auschwitz-Birkenau[edit]

Eva Mozes Kor and her family were deported from a Hungarian-held Cehei ghetto in Transylvania Romania to Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in March 1944[4].

When the family got off the train a German SS officer approached Eva’s mother demanding to know if Eva and Miriam were twins. She said yes. The officer then took the twins and their cries fell upon deaf ears. In her interview with Buzzfeed she says that the last time she saw her mother her arms were stretched out in despair as she was pulled away. Kor says, "I never even got to say goodbye to her. But I didn't really understand that this would be the last time we would see her" [5] The twins spent the next 10 months in this camp until they were rescued. Kor made a documentary, “Forgiving Dr. Mengele,” where she mentions that she was part of two experiments. On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday the Nazi doctors would put her and her twin, and many other twins, naked in a room for 6-8 hours and then measure every part of her body, compare the two twins and then compare it to previous charts. On Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, the doctors would take Eva to a blood lab and they would tie both of her arms to restrict blood flow, and then take a lot of blood from the left arm and give her a minimum of 5 injections with unknown contents in the right arm. After one of the injections, she became very ill with a very high fever and her legs and arms were swollen and painful, she was trembling as the August sky was burning her skin, she had huge red spots covering her body. One day when she was taken to Dr. Mengele, he checked her fever instead of taking her measurements, she was immediately taken to the hospital, which was just another barrack. Kor says that she has only one clear memory of the two weeks she spent in there, and that is crawling on the barrack floor (no longer able to walk) to reach a faucet with water at the other end of the barrack. As she was crawling she would fade in and out of consciousness, telling herself “I must survive, I must survive.” After those two weeks her fever broke and she was returned to her sister three weeks later. They were rescued on January 27, 1945 by the Soviet Army [6]

Later in life, the torture from the camp led to Eva having numerous miscarriages and when she did have a child he developed cancer. She also developed tuberculosis. Miriam had kidney problems because her kidneys never fully developed. Eva gave one of her kidneys to Miriam and said: "I have one sister and two kidneys." Miriam ended up passing away from kidney cancer.

Later activities[edit]

In 1950 Eva and Miriam moved to Israel and they both served in the Israeli Army. Miriam studied drafting and Eva became a nurse.

In 1965, Kor became a US citizen, and the couple raised two children, Alex and Rina. In 1978, after NBC's miniseries The Holocaust aired, she and Miriam, who was still living in Israel, began locating other survivors of the experiments. In 1984, Eva founded CANDLES.

She has remained active by giving lectures and guided tours.[7] She has returned to Auschwitz on numerous occasions, often accompanied by friends and members of the community. This pilgrimage now takes place each summer.[8]

In 2007, Eva Kor worked with Indiana state legislators Clyde Kersey and Tim Skinner to gain passage of a law requiring Holocaust education in secondary schools.[9] She was featured in the January 2015 CNN documentary "Voices of Auschwitz"[10] and CNN's "Incredible survivors" in 2016.

In April 2015 she traveled to Germany to testify in the trial of former Nazi Oskar Gröning. During this trial, Kor and Gröning shared an embrace and a kiss, with Eva thanking Gröning for his willingness, at age 93, to testify as to what happened more than 70 years ago.[11] On January 23, 2016, Kor became the focus of a new documentary out of Britain by Channel4 titled "The Girl Who Forgave the Nazis". This documentary explores the meeting between Kor and Groening.[12]

In 2016 Kor traveled to Los Angeles, California to be one of 13 Holocaust survivors immortalized using the latest technology in the University of Southern California's New Dimensions in Testimony Project.[13] The project is a collaborative effort between the USC Institute for Creative Technologies, USC Shoah Foundation and Conscience Display.

Kor is the subject of a new documentary by Ted Green Films and WFYI Indianapolis, entitled Eva that premiered on April 5, 2018 at Butler University.[14]

Eva has come to the realization as an adult that in order for her to heal she must forgive those people who did horrible things to her in the camps. She spent months writing letters to those who hurt her.[citation needed] She even wrote one to "The Angel of Death". These were very hard for her to write but through this she feels she became a happier and healthier person.[citation needed] Not everyone has agreed with her decision to forgive the Third Reich but she feels it was best for her and the right thing to do.[citation needed]


Kor has been recognised by four Indiana governors: twice with the Sagamore of the Wabash Award,[15] once with Indiana's Distinguished Hoosier Award, and once in 2017 with the Sachem Award, which is the highest honour of the state of Indiana.[16] In April 2017, Kor was also named the Grand Marshal of the Indianapolis 500 Festival Parade.[17]

In May 2015, she received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana.[18] She also received the 2015 Wabash Valley Women of Influence Award, sponsored by the United Way of the Wabash Valley,[19] the 2015 Anne Frank Change the World Award[20] from the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights in Boise, Idaho, and the 2015 Mike Vogel Humanitarian Award, in Indianapolis, Indiana.

She has received over 30 awards. They include: 4-2017 Sachem Award by Governor Eric Holcomb, 4-2016 Make a difference award from WTHI-TV,4-2016 Daughters of WWII, The Bush Institute, 11-2015 Honorary Eagle, Florida Gulf Coast University, 2015 Mid-America Regional Emmy, Forgiving the Nazis: Life Lessons from the Holocaust, 2015 Indiana Heros Award, Indiana Wesleyan University, 2015 Anne Frank Change the World Award, 2015 The Mike Vogel Humanitarian Award, 2015 Femme a'l'honneur Prix du Pardon, 4-2015 United Way of the Wabash Valley Woman of Influence, 3-2014 Community Global Engagement Award, Indiana State University, 5-2013 Sagamore of the Wabash by Governor Mike Pence, 5-2013 Honorary Doctor of Public Service, Christian Theological Seminary, 11-2012 Distinguished Whos Who Award, 2-2012 Ambassador of Goodwill, Arkansas Traveler, 6-2010 Education Outreach and Service Award, 8-2008 Forgiveness Hero Award, Worldwide Forgiveness Alliance, 5-2008 Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, St. Mary-of-the-Woods College, 2006 Hoosier Heros Award by Indiana Dollars for Scholars,11-2005 Keeper of the Light, a Woman Torch Bearer Award, 1-2005 Sagamore of the Wabas by Governoer Joe Kernan, 4-2004 Americanism Award by the Daughters of the American Revolution, 1-2004 Gilbault Excellence Award Education Sectors, 1995 Woman of Valor by the Terrre Haute Jewish Community, 1990 Emmy Award (regional) for co-producing the video, "CANDLES", 1985 Jewish Activism Award by News and View a Jewish radio station in New York, 1985 News Woman of the Year voted by the Israeli Press.[21]


Miriam Mozes (1934-1993), Eva's sister, was also a Holocaust survivor of experiments on twins at Auschwitz concentration camp, by Josef Mengele. She and Eva were the only members of their immediate family to survive.

After liberation from Auschwitz, Eva and Miriam spent nine months traveling from refugee camp to refugee camp under the care of Rosalita Csengeri, who was finally able to return them to their village in Romania. From their village, a cousin took them to live in Cluj, Romania, to be cared for by an aunt who had also survived. In 1950, they emigrated to Israel, where Eva lived until 1960 when she married Michael Kor and moved to the United States. Miriam lived in Israel until her death from cancer, likely caused by the Mengele experiments, in 1993.

The documentary The Holocaust prompted them to locate fellow survivors. Eva married a fellow survivor and founded the experiment survivors group, museum and foundation CANDLES. This organization stands for Children of Auschwitz Nazis Deadly Lab Experiments Survivors. They are dedicated to heal the pain, and to teach the truth and prevent prejudice.


  • Echoes from Auschwitz: Dr. Mengele's Twins: The Story of Eva and Miriam Mozes (1995) with Mary Wright — ISBN 978-0-9643807-6-9
  • Surviving the Angel of Death: The Story of a Mengele Twin in Auschwitz (2009) with Lisa Rojany Buccieri — ISBN 1-933718-28-5
  • Little Eva & Miriam in First Grade (1994) Eva Mozes Kor - OCLC 33324155
  • Forgiving Dr. Mengele (2006) First Run Features - Bob Hercules and Cheri Pugh
  • Die Macht Des Vergebens (2016) with Guido Eckert - ISBN 978-3-7109-0011-2
  • "Nazi Experiments as Viewed by a Survivor of Mengele's Experiments" (1992) in When Medicine Went Mad: Bioethics and the Holocaust by Arthur Caplan - ISBN 978-1461267515


  1. ^ "History of CANDLES". CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center. Retrieved 31 January 2011.
  2. ^ "Draft Report on" (PDF). Yadvashem.org. Retrieved 2016-05-27.
  3. ^ "Liberation of Auschwitz". Ushmm.org. Retrieved 2016-05-27.
  4. ^ Budanovic, Nikola. "Eva Mozes Kor, a Holocaust survivor and a Mengele twin, chose to forgive the Nazis". the Vintage News. Retrieved 7 November 2018.
  5. ^ Bülow, Louis Bülow. "Eva and Miriam". Retrieved 7 November 2018.
  6. ^ "Forgiving Doctor Mengele". Vimeo. First Run Features. Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  7. ^ "Gould, Asner lend names to cause of local museum". Terre Haute Tribune Star. Retrieved 2016-05-27.
  8. ^ "CANDLES: Shining a light on the Holocaust and Eva Kor. Illuminating the world with hope, healing, respect, and responsibility". Candlesholocaustmuseum.org. Retrieved 2016-05-27.
  9. ^ "Oh, Four Oh Four". Idsnews.com. Retrieved 2016-05-27.
  10. ^ "CNN Special Report: Blitzer to Host "Voices of Auschwitz" Jan. 27 at 9pm ET – CNN Press Room - CNN.com Blogs". Cnnpressroom.blogs.cnn.com. Retrieved 2016-05-27.
  11. ^ Dominique Mosbergen (2015-04-27). "Former Nazi Guard Oskar Groening Kisses Holocaust Survivor Eva Kor During His Trial". Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2016-05-27.
  12. ^ "TV Pick of the Day: The Girl Who Forgave the Nazis (Channel 4), January 23". Western Morning News. 2016-01-23. Retrieved 2016-05-27.
  13. ^ "New Dimensions in Testimony on Display at USHMM". 2016-05-11. Retrieved 2016-06-17.
  14. ^ "Eva".
  15. ^ Trigg, Lisa (2015-04-10). "Eva Kor | Features". Tribstar.com. Retrieved 2016-05-27.
  16. ^ Midwest Communications Inc. "Kohr Honoured With The Sachem Award | News | WIBQ". Wibqam.com. Retrieved 2017-04-14.
  17. ^ "Eva Kor Named Grand Marshal 500 Festival Parade".
  18. ^ "Holocaust Survivor Eva Kor Headlines Moving Butler Commencement Focused On Forgiveness And Service". Forbes.com. Retrieved 2016-05-27.
  19. ^ "Wabash Valley 2015 Women of Influence". Uwwv.org. 2015-04-09. Retrieved 2016-05-27.
  20. ^ Hagadone, Zach. "Change Your World Celebration | Friday, Sept. 18 | Culture". Boise Weekly. Retrieved 2016-05-27.
  21. ^ https:candlesholocaustmuseum.org

http://wwwannefranks.dk/eva.htm https://candlesholocaustmuseum.org/eva-kor/awards.html http://www.auschwitz.dk/eva.htm

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