With every passing year, we lose an important part of living history. Stories from survivors of the Holocaust provide important testimony to the horrors of one of the darkest periods of humanity.
One survivor recently shared her story with students at Northridge Middle School in Middlebury. Her visit brought a face and a name to an otherwise tragic history lesson.
As young girls, Eva Mozes Kor and her sister Miriam survived brutal medical experiments at the infamous Auschwitz Concentration Camp. Their parents and other siblings were killed, but the girls were kept alive by the Nazi's for testing because they were twins.
At the age of 10, Eva witnessed unbelievable horror.
“We were there only for one reason,” said Eva Mozes Kor a Holocaust survivor. “I was there to be used as human guinea pigs and then to be killed.”
She's almost 80 now, and an author and public speaker. Students at Northridge Middle School in Middlebury read her book earlier this year.
“I think it's good that some of them chose to write it down,” says Regan Martin a 6th grader at Northridge. “And they will not lose that feeling about what it was like. It was one of the worst times in human history.”
“We had nobody,” says Eva. “We were the most deprived human beings on the face of the earth. Nobody cared if we lived or died.”
Somehow, Eva and her sister found the strength to keep going.
“When things are hard, particularly with young people, if you have any hardships, do not give up,” says Eva. “Keep trying until you find a solution.”
It is an inspiring message for the young people who realize how fortunate they really are.
“Once you hear what happened, it changes my opinion of a lot of things,” says Mackenzie Adams a Northridge 7th grader.
Once the war was over, Eva eventually forgave the people who killed her family and millions of others.
“So if I can forgive the Nazi's, I want everyone to know that I am convinced that every human being who heard me today or hears this report can forgive whoever has hurt them,” says Eva. “They will feel free and they will feel in power of their own lives. And that is a wonderful thing.”
A wonderful lesson that will never to be forgotten.
The school was able to arrange Eva's visit through fundraisers and the One School at a Time Grant from Martin's Supermarket.
Eva's twin lived into adulthood, but eventually died from cancer complications.
Eva Mozes Kor started a museum in Terra Haute, called Candles.