Imagine the strength it takes — after being forced from one’s home, ripped away from one’s family, imprisoned in a concentration camp, and treated horribly — to forgive the Nazis for their heinous acts. That’s exactly what one survivor did.
Eva Mozes Kor was just 10 years old when she was shipped in a cattle car to Auschwitz in May 1944. Born in Transylvania, Romania, she was one of six children, including her twin sister, Miriam. The Nazis separated the twins from the family, and they never saw their parents again. Eva and her sister were put with a group of other sets of twins in the camp.
The Kor sisters underwent horrors in the so-called “twin experiments” done by the Nazis, in which influential doctors attempted to discover and understand how twins existed — in an effort to produce a “perfect race” more quickly. The twins were ceaselessly examined, measured, tested and inspected — never understanding why they had wound up in such despicable circumstances.
Both Kor twins wound up close to death, but miraculously they survived — and were ultimately freed by Allied soldiers.
Forty years later, Kor met one of the Nazi doctors who was stationed at Auschwitz — and after time and thought she came up with an idea for healing.
“One morning I woke up and the following simple idea popped into my head: how about a simple letter of forgiveness” to the Nazi doctor, she said in an interview with Buzzfeed. “But what I discovered for myself was life-changing.”
She went on, “I discovered that I had the power to forgive. No one could give me that power, no one could take it away, it was all mine to use in any way I wished. And that became an interesting thing because as a victim of over 50 years, I never knew I had any power over my life.”
See the powerful interview about the Holocaust and forgiveness below (the material is graphic; viewer discretion is advised):
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Image: Print of the Ecuatorian Saint Mary Ann of Jesus | photo by Jojagal