Eva Mozes Kor has spent the better part of her adult life on finding other individuals who were used as test subjects by Nazi doctor Josef Mengele.           PHOTO PROVIDED
Eva Mozes Kor has spent the better part of her adult life on finding other individuals who were used as test subjects by Nazi doctor Josef Mengele. PHOTO PROVIDED

The name of Eva Mozes Kor is one that not many know. Last September, she gave a 14 minute interview to Buzzfeed chronicling her horrific experience as a twin and unwilling test subject at the Nazi death camp, Auschwitz. The video went viral, and millions learned of her story of resilience and forgiveness.

Kor was born in Romania in 1935 and by 1944 was sent to Auschwitz, separated from her father, mother, and two sisters. Her twin, Miriam, and she were kept alive and used for horrific experiments performed by Dr. Josef Mengele at the camp. 

Kor and her sister survived for nine months before Auschwitz was liberated by the Russians in 1945. 

In 1985, Kor established the Children of Auschwitz Nazi Deadly Lab Experiments Survivors, or CANDLES organization to look for medical files concerning Mengele’s experiments. She and her sister were able to locate 122 individuals and the search is ongoing. In 1995, she opened the CANDLES Museum in Terre Haute to honor Miriam, who passed away in 1993.

Last fall, Kor was in Kokomo to share her story in person. Her book, Surviving the Angel of Death, became one of the Howard County Reads selections. Renda Hurst, Greentown Public Library Assistant Director, said the book is a short, very disturbing read but those who read the book come away inspired by the human spirit. 

Due to limited available tickets, not everyone could attend the presentation. Hurst wanted to find a way for those who were unable to attend the presentation to have an opportunity to hear from Kor, first hand, so the idea came to be of a bus trip to southern Indiana to visit the CANDLES Museum and hear from Kor.

“We thought that we had done bus trips before so let’s plan a bus trip and take those who want to go, can go,” Hurst said. “Many realize the time is short to hear firsthand accounts from these people. She’s a phenomenal woman to survive what she survived.”

The day trip is not being held as a fundraiser for the library, so the cost of $36 has been set to cover the expense of transportation and admission to the CANDLES Museum.

Hurst said the bus will leave the south parking lot of Eastern High School early, on Saturday, April 28 on a chartered motor coach, make a stop at the Clabber Girl Museum, grab lunch (not included in the cost of the trip), and head to the CANDLES Museum to tour and have a private audience with Kor who will speak and sign books.

“Sometimes people can be really inhumane, and we’ve got to educate and reaffirm our humanity, so these things stop,” Hurst said. “It means a lot for people to get to hear her speak. I’m a baby boomer. My father was actually a machine gunner and became a disabled veteran in Germany. The stories of horror that were going on at the time are something that my brain doesn’t want to embrace or wrap around. To hear these stories, especially first hand, I know that future generations are, even more so than I am able to imagine, the atrocities. They need to hear the stories, so it doesn’t happen again.”

Seating is limited, and the sales will end when the bus is full. No seat is confirmed until payment is made in full. To reserve a seat, call the Greentown Public Library at 765-628-3534.