Holocaust survivor shares story, message of forgiveness in Elkhart

Thursday, the Elkhart community got a lesson in history and forgiveness.

Holocaust survivor Eva Kor spent the day sharing her story.

Eva was only 10 years old when she was liberated from the Auschwitz concentration camp.

At one point she was told she had two weeks to live, but now over 70 years later she hopes her story can help others facing hardship.

"Because there is no fun in life living as a victim, and there is a way out from it," says Eva.

Eva Kor, her parents and three sisters were taken to Auschwitz in 1944. She never saw her parents and two of her sisters ever again.

She and her twin sister Miriam were spared, only to then be used in dangerous experiments.

Later in life, Eva sought out a Nazi doctor trying to find answers about those tests.

She found answers, but she also found something she wasn't expecting, the desire to forgive those who had hurt her.

She ended up writing him a letter forgiving him and the other Nazi doctors.

Eva spoke with high school students in Elkhart and later to a sold-out Lerner Theater.

She hopes her story will help teens as they struggle to find their place.

"I realize young people think that nobody had bigger problems than they did," says Eva. "That actually the fact of growing up is not easy. I mean trying to figure out who you are and how you fit into this world, it’s definitely not easy, but very challenging."

Student Molly Wrubel is taking the message to heart.

"I do admit that I have hurt people in the past and just hearing her talk about the way that she forgave them really just makes me feel emotional, because then I realize that I just need to forgive and forget," says Wrubel.

Eva says that is the key to freedom.

"As long as you do not forgive anything wrong that happened to you, you are still a victim. You have a choice and power to remove your status of victim-hood, to realize that you have some power over your life," says Eva.

While she wants people to forgive, she does not want them to forget.

She founded the CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Terre Haute. She has lived in Terre Haute for over fifty years.

After the museum was burned down in 2003, it was reopened in 2005.

Eva says she doesn't believe in giving up.

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