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Eva Moses Kor on "Eva", the New Film About Her Life

Kor says her forgiveness of the Nazis was not an epiphany of faith, but came from returning a favor.

INDIANAPOLIS--When "Eva" premiers at Clowes Hall at Butler University April 5, you'll have the chance to hear and see parts of the life of Eva Moses Kor, that she kept away from the media for a long time. Although she's known all over the world for forgiving her Nazi torturers, she lived for nearly 50 years as an angry person.

"I was very angry with many people. I was in a lot of pain," said Kor, Friday, reflecting on her life and how uncomfortable she was baring her soul for the new documentary.

Most people would've probably been bitter. Kor and her sister Miriam were the only survivors in the family because they were twins, separated from the others by the Nazis. Josef Mengele, a Nazi doctor, was fascinated with twins and performed experiments on Kor and her sister. The lingering effects are believed to be what killed her sister in 1992.

"Most people are willing to pay lip service to victims. But, they are not willing to sit down and help them. That takes a little bit more," said Kor.

She said she finally was able to forgive the Nazis at Auschwitz, when she was asked to be interviewed along side a Nazi doctor who not only gave her respect, but also gave her documentation on the protocol for the executions in the gas chambers.

"I wanted to thank this Nazi doctor for his willingness to go with me to Auschwitz and document the operation of the gas chamber," she said. "Trying to figure out how can I thank him, and after ten months a simple idea came up. How about a letter of forgiveness from me to him."

From there, Kor was able to offer amnesty to the Nazis, 50 years after she and her sister were liberated from Auschwitz. She said that was also a point of healing for her. 

The new film, written and produced by Ted Green, in association with WFYI, and narrated by Ed Asner, documents Kor's life, her travels and struggles and why she is known all over the world for being the person who was able to forgive the group that committed atrocities on her person and killed her family and millions of other people.

On Terre Haute

After her liberation from Auschwitz and communist Romania, Kor went to Israel, where she was in the Army for eight years, reaching the rank of sergeant major. She met and married a man who had moved to Terre Haute after being liberated.

"When I married him we came from Tel Aviv to Terre Haute. And the only thing these two cities had in common, they both began with the letter T," said Kor. Nonetheless, she settled in Indiana and founded the Candles Museum in Terre Haute, and makes that her home base still.

At the age of 84, her story is inspiring more people than ever. Green said he is fascinated by his friend and the subject of the film that will make its debut on WFYI in October.

PHOTO: Chris Davis/Emmis

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