Holocaust survivor Eva Kor dies at age 85

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TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP, WNDU) - Holocaust survivor Eva Kor, who championed forgiveness even for those who carried out the Holocaust atrocities, has died.

The CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center she founded in Terre Haute, Indiana, released a statement saying Kor died Thursday morning in Krakow, Poland, during an annual museum trip. She was 85.

Kor is a Jewish native of Romania who was sent in 1944 to the Auschwitz concentration camp, where most of her family was killed. She and her twin sister survived, but were subjected to inhumane medical experiments.

Kor was a longtime resident of Terre Haute. In 1985, she founded CANDLES, or Children of Auschwitz Nazi Deadly Lab Experiments Survivors.

Museum officials say the center will be closed until Tuesday in honor of Kor's memory.

A public memorial service is planned.

Indiana Governor Eric J. Holcomb released the following statement:

“The world just lost a giant with Eva Kor’s passing. Janet and I loved and adored her. Everywhere she went, Eva brought light into darkness and provided comfort to those in pain unlike anyone we’ve ever met. From her against all odds survival as a young girl in Auschwitz to her peace spreading message based from home in Terre Haute, Indiana, her relentless and optimistic example inspired the world. Her angelic spirit will live on in the countless souls she saved from ongoing confusion and torment. Janet and I are reminded just how blessed we are to have her as a friend. We will miss her laughter, her wisdom and her passion. We call on every Hoosier to look above on this Independence Day and say a prayer for Eva and the family and nation she leaves behind.”