Friday, September 27, 2013

Forgiveness Brings Together Holocaust Survivor & Survivor of Abuse

Eva Kor of The Forgiveness Project

Eva Kor (The Forgiveness Project) - Photo: Grant Stapleton

This past summer I wrote an article highlighting people who are advocates regarding the power of forgiveness. The article highlighted and mentioned Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and a woman named, Eva Kor. I've never met Eva Kor (or any of the other people I mentioned in my article), but I read about how she was a champion of forgiveness. One day out of the clear blue I received a call from her. Of course this surprised me and I wondered how she even knew about the article and further more how she tracked me down. In our first conversation she said she was honored to be mentioned in such company.

For those that may not be familiar with Mrs. Kor, she is a Jewish woman who survived the Holocaust and Auschwitz. She also has a twin sister and they were victims of Dr. Josef Mengele a Nazi doctor who did experiments on twins in Auschwitz. Mrs. Kor is the founder of the CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Terre Haute, Indianapolis. The museum's acronym stands for "Children of Auschwitz Nazi Deadly Lab Experiments Survivors. The museum teaches the importance of respect, equality, the power of forgiveness and peace. She believes, "the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing."

My initial discussion with Eva Kor really surprised me and we actually talked for quite some time. Since that first call we've had a few conversations and we've exchanged some emails and written notes. During our conversations we talked about the work we both do that's centered around forgiveness and how wonderful it would be if we could meet and have an open dialogue. As I sit and write this article, my daughter and I are preparing to board an airplane in less than 24 hours to head to Indianapolis to meet her.

What's interesting about all of this is I come from German heritage and I'm third generation American born on my mother's side. To have an opportunity to meet and talk to Mrs. Kor about the power of forgiveness across ethnic, cultural, and generational differences is very powerful. I look forward to what will come out of our journey and I plan to keep everyone posted! Forgiveness truly is a powerful weapon that can turn a mess into a message and the destiny of one into the hope for many.

"The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong." -Mahatma Gandhi.

Healing Without Hate: It's a choice. It's a lifestyle. Pass it on!

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