Romanian Survivor of the Holocaust. Along with her twin sister Miriam, she was subjected to human experimentation under the direction of Josef Mengele at the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II. She founded the organization CANDLES (an acronym for "Children of Auschwitz Nazi Deadly Lab Experiments Survivors") in 1984 and through this program located 122 other survivors of Mengele. She found CANDLES to educate the public about eugenics, the Holocaust, and the power of forgiveness and received international attention when she publicly forgave the Nazis for what they had done to her. This story later became the 2006 documentary “Forgiving Dr. Mengele.” She also authored or co-authored six books, and took part in numerous memorial services and projects. Her twin, Miriam, had kidney problems because her kidneys never fully developed and she gave one of her kidneys to Miriam, saying: "I have one sister and two kidneys". Miriam died of kidney cancer. Right after the war, Eva and Miriam lived in Cluj, Romania, with their Aunt Irena who was also a survivor where they went to school and attempted to recover from their experiences at Auschwitz. In 1950, at age 16, they received permission to leave Romania and emigrated to Israel. She attended an agricultural school and earned the rank of Sergeant Major in the Israeli Army Engineering Corps. In 1960, she married Michael Kor, an American citizen and a fellow Holocaust survivor, and joined him in the United States. In 1965, she became a US citizen. In 1978, after NBC's miniseries The Holocaust aired, she and Miriam, who was still living in Israel, began locating other survivors of the experiments. In 1984, Eva founded CANDLES. She remained active by giving lectures and guided tours. She returned to Auschwitz on numerous occasions. In 2007, she worked with Indiana state legislators to gain passage of a law requiring Holocaust education in secondary schools. She was featured in the January 2015 CNN documentary "Voices of Auschwitz" and CNN's "Incredible Survivors" in 2016. In April 2015 she traveled to Germany to testify in the trial of former Nazi Oskar Gröning. During this trial, she and Gröning shared an embrace and a kiss, with her thanking Gröning for his willingness, at age 93, to testify as to what happened more than 70 years ago. On January 23, 2016, she became the focus of a new documentary out of Britain titled "The Girl Who Forgave the Nazis" about the meeting between her and Groening. In 2016, she traveled to Los Angeles to be one of 13 Holocaust survivors immortalized using the latest technology in the University of Southern California's New Dimensions in Testimony Project. The project is a collaborative effort between the USC Institute for Creative Technologies, USC Shoah Foundation and Conscience Display. She was also the subject of a documentary by Ted Green Films and WFYI Indianapolis, entitled “Eva” that premiered on April 5, 2018 at Butler University. She felt that as an adult that in order for her to heal, she must forgive those people who did horrible things to her in the camps. She spent months writing letters to those who hurt her. She even wrote one to "The Angel of Death." These were very hard for her to write but through this she felt she became a happier and healthier person. Not everyone agreed with her decision to forgive the Third Reich but she felt it was best for her and the right thing to do. She has been recognized by four Indiana governors: twice with the Sagamore of the Wabash Award, once with Indiana's Distinguished Hoosier Award, and once in 2017 with the Sachem Award, the highest honor of the state of Indiana. In April 2017, she was also named the Grand Marshal of the Indianapolis 500 Festival Parade. In May 2015, she received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana. She also received the 2015 Wabash Valley Women of Influence Award, sponsored by the United Way of the Wabash Valley, the 2015 Anne Frank Change the World Award from the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights in Boise, Idaho, and the 2015 Mike Vogel Humanitarian Award, in Indianapolis, Indiana. She received over 30 awards. She died while in Krakow, Poland accompanying a CANDLES group on an educational trip to Auschwitz. She was 85 years old. She made this trip annually to share her childhood experiences and give tours from her perspective as a survivor.
Bio by: Glendora