Seventy-two years ago today in Auschwitz, Germany, 7,000 Jewish people saw a day of rapture. This, following years of starvation, torture and de-humanization.
We’re talking about Liberation Day.
“After three months of the sounds of war, nonstop almost, it went always, you could hear it all around you, it was quiet, very quiet, eerily quiet. Miriam and I thought, ‘what do you think? Could this be the day?'”
And it was. Liberation Day, the day the suffering got a second chance at life.
“How do you verify that you are free? We went outside the camp and we came back and nobody was shooting at us,” Kor said.
Eva Kor’s lived her life as a survivor. She’s the last from her family to survive the concentration camps following her sister Miriam’s death decades ago. Even today she’s one of the few who can tell you about it.
She and Miriam were used for Dr. Josef Mengele’s experimentation at the age of ten, at one point Eva was told due to her deadly injections, she only had a week to live.
“I kept telling myself, I must survive and after two weeks my fever broke.”
Eva’s promise to herself following the first night at Auschwitz became a reality, she did survive.
She credits a fellow prisoner, Rosalita Csengeri to her journey home. Csengeri also had twin daughters used by Dr. Mengela, she would often sneak the girls bread at night, a delicacy Eva never had.
Following Liberation day it was Csengeri who took Eva and her sister in, cleaned them and clothed them.
“I never had to worry about my food or safety and she treated us like one of her children.”
Talking about the woman is the only time Eva sheds a tear. Csengeri was able to send the sisters home.
Csengeri was one of the few survivors able to reunite with her family after liberation.
Eva says she wasn’t able to cope with her past until 1985 when she first started talking about it. It’s been a long journey since then, although she doesn’t consider herself a religious person, she does believe in forgiveness.
“I discovered that I had one power, the power to forgive… I also think it’s the secret to world peace.”
Eva is still recovering after artery complications which lead to an infection in her leg that she was recently hospitalized for. Her birthday is just four days after Holocaust Remembrance Day, she first celebrated the day at the age of 10, now she celebrates at the age of 82.
She says instead of sending her a birthday card, use that money to go toward donations for Candles Museum.
Only 7,000 people made it to Liberation Day, over one million Jews were murdered during the war.