Sunday, July 7, 2019

Eva Kor (1934–2019)

Eva Kor died this past Thursday at the age of eighty-five. Eva and her twin sister Miriam (d. 1993) were survivors of Auschwitz, where they were subjected to Josef Mengele’s “experiments” on twins. Eva founded a small museum In Terre Haute, Indiana, CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center, and devoted her later years to teaching forgiveness as a way to help heal from trauma. Eva died in Poland, one day after speaking to a CANDLES group at Auschwitz.

I remember vividly something Eva said to a group of east-central Illinoisans visiting her museum: “Never give up.” That was the vow she made to herself as a child in Auschwitz. Such a vow might not save you, she said, but without it, you’re certainly lost.

Elaine met Eva in 1994 at our university’s radio station and was close to her for many years. In 1995 Elaine’s string quartet played for the opening of CANDLES. When the museum reopened in 2005 after being firebombed two years earlier, Elaine and I played traditional Jewish songs on violin and National guitar. Elaine has written about Eva in this blog post.

More: stories from the BBC and NPR, and an obituary from Terre Haute’s Tribune Star.


The New York Times now has an obituary.

comments: 2

Elaine said...

What a magnificent friendship, collaboration, and testament.

Michael Leddy said...

Thanks for that, Elaine.