CANDLES Holocaust Museum announces death of Mickey Kor, founder Eva Kor’s husband

Local News

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — The CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center announced Tuesday the death of Holocaust survivor Michael “Mickey” Kor, husband to museum founder Eva Kor.

According to a news release, Mickey died peacefully on the morning of Oct. 19 in Indianapolis, Ind.

When Eva Mozes Kor opened the CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center in 1995 in Terre Haute, Ind., Mickey stood by her side. CANDLES said he remained by her side when they had to rebuild the museum after the arson attack in 2003.

Mickey volunteered at CANDLES as a docent, always greeting any guests with the “utmost politeness,” and he could often be found in the back of the museum playing the piano. He utilized his passion for sports when sharing his story with visitors, using sports analogies when parts of his story became too hard to tell.

On behalf of the Kor family, CANDLES released the following statement regarding Mickey’s passing:

“Michael “Mickey” Kor, 95, passed away peacefully in his sleep on October 19, 2021, at Witham Memorial Hospital, Extended Care Facility, Lebanon, Indiana. He is survived by his son, Dr. Alex Kor of Carmel, Indiana; daughter, Rina Kor, of Terre Haute, Indiana; nephew Robert of Connecticut; nephews Zori and Avshalom of Israel; niece Miri of Israel and several great-nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife of 59 years, Eva Mozes Kor, brothers Schliom, Leiba and Soruch, and parents Scholom and Mirka Kor.

Born Rachmiel Kor on Oct. 24, 1925, in Riga, Latvia, Mickey was a loving and devoted husband and father, a meticulous pharmacist, loyal United States Army veteran, an avid supporter of Purdue University basketball and football and a brave survivor of the Holocaust. Over a torturous period of almost four years, Mickey was used as slave labor in at least three Nazi concentration camps. Surviving the Riga Ghetto, KL Kaiserwald, KL Stutthof, and KL Buchenwald, he was liberated by the United States Army’s 250th Engineer’s Combat Battalion in early April 1945 near Magdeburg, Germany, from a death march leaving Buchenwald. He remained with the unit upon his liberation as their “mascot”, teaching himself English by reading Stars and Stripes, and acting as the unit’s unofficial interpreter. In May 1946 with the help of Lt. Col. Andrew Nehf, he immigrated to the United States where he settled in Terre Haute, Indiana. Mickey was granted U.S. Citizenship in 1948, which was something he greatly treasured and considered a precious accomplishment.

He finished his high school education at State High School and then attended Indiana Teacher’s College before graduating from the Purdue University School of Pharmacy in 1952. Mickey served in the United States Army from Sept. 14, 1952 – Aug. 28, 1954, as a military pharmacist, stationed in Osaka, Japan. He often stated that he was full of pride and gratitude as a former concentration camp prisoner who was “allowed” to serve as a corporal for the same U.S. Army that liberated him.

After leaving the Army, he worked for AP&S Pharmacy, Hook’s Drugstore and retired from CVS Pharmacy in 1995. Mickey was a docent and twice weekly lecturer for CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center until 2016, and a 64-year member of Humboldt Masonic Lodge #42 in Terre Haute, Indiana. He was a familiar and beloved face at Purdue home basketball and football games and enjoyed following and discussing politics, writing letters to the editor, watching sports, playing the piano and singing along with Dean Martin. He is often remembered as the man who whistled while he walked at The Meadows.”

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