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The mind of a child is malleable, like a hunk of clay. Many things throughout the development of a child can change the outcome of that individual. The amount of love that child receives, social interaction, the parenting style, and the environment he or she is raised in are all factors. In a developing child, those in point of authority hold much control over the end product of the child morals, ethics and behaviors. However there are the strong-willed children, those whose own sense of identity surpass those who influence them. Eva Kor was one individual who could move past her harsh environment as childhood and grow up to be a woman with a shocking agenda. Eva Mozes Kor, was one of four children in her family, growing up in Romania in 1934. Her once quite childhood was soon turned upside-down when she was six years old and her and her family were forced to be transported to Auschwitz Nazi death camp. This was only the beginning of young Eva’s journey, a journey of resisting the influence of her childhood experiences and letting her own morals conquer.
At one time, Auschwitz was Germany’s “dirty little secret”, people went in, and when the gates locked behind them, they were done. Black smoke and ash from human remains littered the surrounding areas, yet people choose to be blind to what they didn’t want to believe, or perhaps conditioned themselves to accept what was society’s norm. When Eva and her family stepped off the train and onto the platform at Auschwitz it was just her, her mother and twin sister Miriam. Her other family members were separated among the train. That day was the last day she ever saw her mother again, because Eva and Miriam were soon spotted and taken away for Dr. Josef Mengele’s twin experiments. The two girls were only one of 1500 sets of young twins under Dr. Mengele’s tight grasp.
Dr. Mengel would use the children as lab rats, he would sew twins together and inject them with things still unknown to this day. None of his findings, research, or information regarding the twin experiments were ever found. Many child twins died as a result of the man also known as “the angel of death”. In fact, Eva came very close to death however she refused to give up and persevered, because she knew she had to live for her sister. The girls witnessed many traumatic things during their stay at Auschwitz. The first day Eva and Miriam came they saw two twin boys laying on the ground dead with their cold eyes “starring at them” covered in flies. Whereas many children would run and scream, perhaps Eva took this as a sign, a sign that she had to be strong and push through whatever Dr. Mengele did to her or she was going to end up like them.
On January 27, 1945, the nightmare in Auschwitz was over, the Soviet Army had liberated the camp, her and Miriam were finally free, although not completely. Throughout the years Eva felt a mixture of sadness and hatred inside of her due to her wrongdoings as a childhood, however, she was able to progress regardless in adulthood. Eva married, had children, and even searched out and made a group for the other surviving “Mengele Twins”. As the years passed she made one of the two most controversial decisions in her life. That decision was to publicly announce that she, and she alone forgave the Nazi’s for what they have done. Instead of having the reaction of “ I hate all Germans, for what they did to me and my loved ones” she had the complete adverse one. She realized that forgiving them was the only thing that could put her soul at ease. Also to forgive but to never forget. This also caused a great deal of controversy because the other twins felt it was impossible to forgive without forgetting.
As time went by the most devastating blow to Eva Kor’s life occurred. Her only blood relative, Miriam, her twin that she had been through so much with died. Her sister had been facing complications with her kidney, due to the experiments as a child. Her kidneys never grew that past the size of a ten-year-old girl. After her sister’s death, she was very upset, Miriam was there with him through it all. Eva may have hated, detested, even loathed Dr. Mengele before but after the death of her sister the anger was prevalent. Despite her pent-up hate, sadness, and anger, Eva then made the second of her controversial decisions, to forgive Dr. Mengele. The man that caused her so much trouble throughout her childhood, the cause of her nightmares, the cause of her sister’s death; she decided to forgive him. Eva Kor said:
I believe with every fiber of my being that every person has the human right to live with or without the pain of the past, and that is a personal choice. My question is, “How many people would choose to live with pain when they could heal from it.
Eva could have easily been sculpted into a racist, German -hating, woman due to the experiences she faced throughout her childhood, however, she became quite the opposite. Eva is now the face of forgiveness. The holocaust did affect Eva’s outcome in other ways, friends of Eva say she would do certain things unconsciously. She would hide all of her valuables and always eat all of her food and take whatever food she didn’t finish to go. Psychically, emotionally and psychologically Eva had undergone much trauma but rose above it because her past didn’t brand who she was. Indira Gandhi once said, “ Forgiveness is a virtue of the brave”. Eva is a woman of braveness, because she could forgive those that hurt her most.
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