Eva Kor was a Holocaust survivor. She was only 10-years-old when she and her twin sister Miriam endured unimaginable horrors at the hands of Nazi doctor Josef Mengele, who performed inhumane studies upon them. While their other two sisters and their parents were killed at Auschwitz, Eva and Miriam were kept alive because they were twins and could act as subjects in Mengele’s cruel medical studies. After continuous torture, both twins were liberated by the Soviet army in 1945. All of her life, Eva acted as an inspiration to many as she shared her story of survival and courage. She passed away on July 4 at 85-years-old, according to People.
Even though the beginning of her life was so horrific, Eva never allowed what she had experienced to hold her back from living an amazing life. She spent eight years in the Israeli army and later fell in love with another Holocaust survivor. The two were married and moved to Terre Haute, Indiana where they started a new life. They learned English, found jobs, and had two children. She later wrote a book about her experiences at the hands of Mengele entitled Surviving The Angel of Death: The Story of a Mengele Twin in Auschwitz.
In the book, Eva details how she and her sister were treated not as actual people, but as test subjects. They had no say in the way they were treated or the way their bodies were used.
“Miriam and I were part of a group of children who were alive for one reason only — to be used as human guinea pigs. Three times a week we’d be placed naked in a room, for six to eight hours, to be measured and studied. They took blood from one arm and gave us injections in the other. After one such injection I became very ill and was taken to the hospital. If I had died, Mengele would have given Miriam a lethal injection in order to do a double autopsy.”
— CBS News (@CBSNews) July 4, 2019
But Eva didn’t die. Thus, Mengele continued his sick studies upon them. The affects of his medical experimentation caused detrimental affects upon Miriam’s young body. At just 10-years-old, her kidneys stopped growing. They remained the size that they were as a child for the rest of her life.
Nevertheless, Miriam was a fighter too. After being liberated along with her sister, she lived until 1993.
CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center released a statement regarding what can be learned from Eva’s life.
“We can overcome hardship and tragedy. Forgiveness can help us to heal.”