Eva Mozes Kor, a Jewish activist and educator who suffered in the Holocaust, passed away earlier this month. She died while leading an educational field trip, only a few miles from the notorious Auschwitz concentration camp where she lost almost all of her family – dedicated to the very last to educate as many people as possible so that no one else might suffer what she did.
Eva Kor visited IU East and shared her story with us recently, describing the horrors of losing her family to the Nazi regime and suffering torture masquerading as ‘medical experiments’ at the hands of Dr. Josef Mengele, since she was a twin. Despite suffering and losing more in a single year than most people do across their entire lives, Kor advocated forgiving her torturers, a controversial stance given the unprecedented barbarism of the Nazi ‘Final Solution’. She dedicated her whole life to education, founding CANDLES (a museum here in Indiana), public speaking, and leading regular educational trips to Auschwitz. Memorial services will be held for her throughout the summer, including in Terre Haute (her hometown) and Indianapolis, and she will be missed by many whose lives she touched, including those here at IU East who were fortunate to meet her.
For those interested in learning more about Kor or her experiences, the library offers a lot of resources, including books like 19 Stars of Indiana: Exceptional Hoosier Women by Michael S. Maurer, as well as numerous articles, and interviews. And we have much more documenting the Holocaust, for anyone who wants to learn more about the cause for which Eva Kor dedicated her life, such as The Memory of Pain: Women’s Testimonies of the Holocaust by Camila Loew, Holocaust Survivors: Resettlement, Memories, Identities by Dalia Ofer, or Wrestling with God: Jewish Theological Responses During and after the Holocaust by Steven T. Katz.
But her life offers another inspiration, as well. Is there anything in your own life that you believe in that passionately? That you’re willing to dedicate your whole life to – learning and teaching? Someone voiceless to speak for, someone wounded to heal? College offers an opportunity for students to explore fields that might interest them before they choose a career. It is also an opportunity to explore what most matters to you, and not just what will provide you with an income. It would honor to Kor’s legacy to dedicate your life so completely. And whatever cause or topic motivates you, your library can supply you with resources and information to help. Just ask us at firstname.lastname@example.org.