Holocaust survivor, forgiveness advocate to open 53rd season of Artist-Lecture Series

Holocaust survivor, forgiveness advocate to open 53rd season of Artist-Lecture Series

A Holocaust survivor who endured medical experimentation at the hands of Nazis, but chose to forgive, will open the 53rd season of Midwestern State University's Artist-Lecture Series at 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 21, in Akin Auditorium.


Eva Mozes Kor was 10 when in 1944, she and her family, including her twin sister, were sent from their home in Romania to the Auschwitz concentration camp. The last time she saw her mother, father, and two older sisters was as guards took her and her twin, Miriam, away. Dr. Josef Mengele, notorious for his experimentation with twins, injected both girls with unknown substances, some that made Eva's limbs swell and gave her fever. Even though she was a child, Eva realized that if she died, her sister would be killed so Mengele could do a comparative autopsy. She was determined to survive.


After the camp's liberation in 1945, Eva and Miriam lived in Israel where Eva met another Holocaust survivor who had moved to America. They married and settled in Terre Haute, Indiana in 1960. In the 1980s, Eva wondered what had happened to other children who had been experimented upon. She and her sister, who still lived in Israel, founded CANDLES (Children of Auschwitz Nazi Deadly Lab Experiences Survivors) to find others and to shed light on what they had experienced.


In 1995, Eva opened the CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Terre Haute with a mission to prevent prejudice and hatred through education about the Holocaust. Thousands of people, including many school groups, have visited CANDLES since it opened. The museum was destroyed by an arsonist in 2003, but was rebuilt with a generous public outpouring of support and reopened in 2005.


Eva forgave the Nazis for their actions and today works as a community leader and educator, not only about the Holocaust and medical experiments, but also on the importance of healing through forgiveness. She is the subject of a documentary film collaboration by Ted Green Films and Indianapolis PBS affiliate WFYI. Eva is scheduled to premiere in January 2018.


Earlier this year, Eva received with the Sachem Award, one of Indiana's highest honors, from Governor Eric Holcomb. "Eva is the living embodiment of true compassion," Holcomb said in a statement released by his office. "Her life proves there are no bounds on forgiveness and human decency. Eva shows us what our response should be to acts of bigotry and hatred through her daily mission to educate people and spread messages of peace, respect, and civility."


She is also the recipient of many regional, national, and international awards and honorary doctorates, including an Anne Frank: Change the World Award in 2015, the Distinguished Hoosier Award in 2015, and the Forgiveness Hero Award from the Worldwide Forgiveness Alliance in 2008.


Visit candlesholocaustmuseum.org for more information.


The Artist-Lecture Series was established in 1964 to bring noted lectures and quality programs in the performing arts to the MSU campus and the Wichita Falls community.


Admission is $20 to general public; $18 for senior citizens, active-duty military, and MSU alumni; free to MSU students, faculty, and staff with ID. Tickets are available at the Clark Student Center Information Desk. For tickets or more information, contact the Office of Student Affairs at 940-397-7500 or student.affairs@msutexas.edu.