A Holocaust survivor has told the story of how she survived Auschwitz concentration camp and how today she forgives the Nazis who killed her family during the war.
Eva Kor has taken part in a new documentary for the UK’s Channel 4 where she tells the story of how she survived but had to watch her family die in the Nazi gas chambers. However, most surprising is her declaration that she now forgives her family’s murderers.
Eva attended the recent war trial of Oskar Groening, who was an SS Sergeant and book-keeper at Auschwitz during the war. He was found guilty of being complicit in the murder of around 300,000 Jews at Auschwitz.
Today, Eva is 81 years old, but her mother, father and two sisters were killed more than 75 years ago. What saved Eva was that she was a twin to her sister Miriam. They were taken aside when they reached the camp and were kept to be used in medical tests by Dr Josef Mengele, who was notorious for his experiments on Jewish prisoners.
Eva almost died when she was given a medical injection and was told she only had two weeks to live.
Nevertheless, Eva miraculously survived the war and last year she attended the trial of Oskar Groening in order to give evidence. Dr Mengele never stood trial for his crimes, but instead fled to South America after the war and died in 1979.
During Oskar’s trial Eva said that she forgave him and the Nazis for what they did to her family, and they gave a courtroom embrace that was photographed and sent all around the world.
The hug came as a surprise to Eva, but she says she didn’t mind and had written to Oskar asking for another meeting. The 94-year-old man is serving a four-year prison term.
Many other survivors of the Holocaust have criticised Eva for her forgiveness, and even her husband Michael says he will never forgive them. Eva insists she does not want to be angry and sad anymore. Instead, she wants friendship and to embrace humanity.
Eva and her family were originally from Hungary where her father was a farmer and owned hundreds of acres of land. When Eva and Miriam were six years old war broke out and their lives changed forever.
Both twins survived the war; Miriam died in 1993.