History has witnessed two World Wars that wreaked havoc, killing millions of people. During the Second World War in Germany, Jews were imprisoned in the Nazi concentration camps, locked up in the gas chambers and killed using pesticides.
The camps were a living hell where Adolf Hitler had invented new barbaric ways to torture the prisoners. Among those who assisted Hitler in his cruel acts was a doctor called Dr Josef Mengele.
The Angel of Death
Dr. Mengele used to select the victims to be killed in gas chambers and also carried out deadly genetic experiments on other prisoners. He took particular interest in twins and had 1500 sets of twins in Auschwitz who became his subject.
Most of them couldn't sustain the experiments and died. Only 150 twins were found alive when the Soviet Army liberated Auschwitz in January 1945.
One such pair of twins among those 150 who survived the inhumane experiments was that of Eva Mozes Kor and Miriam Mozes. While Miriam Mozes is no more, Eva Mozes Kor, now 80, has spoken about her experience in the death camp openly. Here is an account in her own words.
"In 1944, my family and I were crammed in a cattle car. There were about 100 people in it with no room to sit, no food, no water, and the only air was supplied by four little windows at the top. During the day, that wood and metal cattle car box was heating up."
Upon reaching the camp, Eva and Miriam were separated from their family.
"In the camp, A-7063 became my number. They actually tattooed it on my left arm. It was very painful."
"The actual tattooing was very, very painful. They heated a pen-like gadget with a long needle over the flame of a lamp. Then they dipped it into ink, and burned into my left arm, dot by dot, the capital letter "A," followed by a dash, then the numbers 7-0-6-3."
"In the observation lab, we would sit naked for up to 8 hours! They kept measuring most of my body parts, comparing them to my twin sister, then comparing them to charts."
"They were trying to design a new Aryan race."
"Many twins who did not have blue eyes were injected with something into their eyes."
"If one twin died, Mengele would have the other killed and then do the comparative autopsies."
"The whole camp was surrounded by the barbed wire that would electrocute you if you touched it."
"Most of the time when someone escaped, they turned on the sirens. We would have to stand for roll call for hours until the person was found dead or alive."
"If the person was found alive, the person would be hanged in front of us."
"Despite all the atrocities, I forgive Dr Josef Mengele."
Despite undergoing the atrocities, both mental and physical, the inhumane treatment could not diminish Eva's spirit and liveliness. A forgiveness advocate as she calls herself, Eva works for human rights. In her words:
"Anger is a seed for war. Forgiveness is a seed for peace. When I forgave Mengele, and then all the Nazis, and then anyone who had ever hurt me, I felt a tremendous burden lifted from my shoulders. I realized that although I was liberated in 1945, I was not free until I forgave in 1995."
Here is a picture of Eva with a former Auschwitz guard.