While Eva speaks of 'forgiveness' (forgive what?) and sharing a cup of coffee with Mengele, we are also treated to a litany of horrors perpetrated on her sister who died in 1993 allegedly from complications due to Mengele's experiments in 1944???? Whoa! Could it be that Mengele's treatments contributed to her longevity?
Revisionists have shot down every laughable tale spun here. Comments invited.
The sentiments make Mrs Kor, 71 — who lost 117 members of her family, including her parents and two sisters, in the Holocaust — a lone voice among survivors who last week paid tribute to Wiesenthal, the man who brought 1100 Nazi war criminals to justice. Now living in the United States, Mrs Kor suspects Mengele may still be alive, aged 94 — despite DNA evidence identifying his remains ...
http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/ ... 61544.html
A Nazi victim's plea opens old wounds
October 1, 2005
The call by a "patient" of Josef Mengele for an end to Nazi hunting has upset other survivors.
By Martin Daly in New York and Larry Schwartz in Melbourne.
AS JEWISH and world leaders gathered in Israel for the burial of Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal, one Holocaust survivor was preaching an unexpected — and, for many, unwelcome — message of forgiveness.
Eva Mozes Kor is a survivor of the Nazi death camps. She and her sister Miriam were among 3000 twins selected for medical experiments by Auschwitz "Angel of Death" Josef Mengele during World War II. Now, she says: "I would invite Mengele to coffee. And I would forgive him for what he did to me."
The sentiments make Mrs Kor, 71 — who lost 117 members of her family, including her parents and two sisters, in the Holocaust — a lone voice among survivors who last week paid tribute to Wiesenthal, the man who brought 1100 Nazi war criminals to justice. Now living in the United States, Mrs Kor suspects Mengele may still be alive, aged 94 — despite DNA evidence identifying his remains — and argues that the best way for his victims to end their suffering is to forgive him.
The vengeance, or "justice", associated with Nazi hunting only prolongs the pain of the victims, she says, "and the pain will never leave until the victims say: 'I forgive you"'.
Mrs Kor's forgiveness and her view that not all Nazis were war criminals, such as her friend, former Auschwitz camp doctor Hans Muench, who was acquitted in 1947, has made her few, if any, friends among the survivors.
Melbourne survivors subjected to Dr Mengele's cruel experiments have rejected Mrs Kor's call.
"I can't forgive him," says Stephanie Heller, 81, who was singled out for experiments, aged 19, with her twin sister in 1943. "I just don't think about him in hatred because I don't want to hate anyone."
She says that among the experiments she and her sister were subjected to, Mengele planned to "mate" them "to find out if it would result in bearing twins". Eva Slonim, who also lives in Melbourne, was selected with her younger sister after Mengele mistook them for twins.
"I don't hate anybody, but I can't forgive," she says.
She recently flew to Poland to attend the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.
"(The camp) accompanies me wherever I go. The experiences are vivid and with me … I can't forgive or forget."
Mrs Slonim has been upset by Mrs Kor's comments.
"I'm very surprised I think something must have happened to her in old age."
She talks of the emotional and physical pain.
"The memories are with me. I resolved to rebuild and perpetuate the memories of those who were murdered. Men, women and children who uttered with their last breath, 'Tell the world so this will never happen again' … How can you forgive a person who is the essence of evil?"
Mengele: Auschwitz "Angel of Death"
Mrs Kor formalised her "ultimate act of healing" from the horrors of the Holocaust at the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, in 1995, when she signed an "amnesty" amid the ruins of the gas chambers for those who had committed some of the greatest crimes against humanity.
Her message says: "Forgive your worst enemy. It will heal your soul and set you free. It is a miracle medicine … The day I forgave the Nazis, I forgave my parents because they did not save me from a destiny in Auschwitz and I also forgave myself for hating my parents."
Her decision to forgive healed the psychological hurt: "I stopped being a victim."
Her argument now is with those who, she says, perpetuate the belief that victims will be helped by punishing their tormentors. "If victims got any relief from the hanging of Adolf Eichmann, it probably lasted only a few minutes," she says.
Mrs Kor says forgiveness by survivors does not excuse the perpetrators of mass murder. It is not designed to make the killers feel better, but to relieve or eliminate her own pain. Other victims can do the same, she says.
But she goes further: the ageing World War II war criminals should be set free, she says — as were many of those who brutalised and murdered during the apartheid era in South Africa after they had faced their victims as part of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and apologised for what they had done.
Similarly, she says, Nazi war criminals should be encouraged to come forward and apologise. She suspects they will never do this as long as they are hunted by the Simon Wiesenthal Centre.
Wiesenthal, who lost 89 members of his family in the Holocaust and repeatedly said that justice, not revenge, was his motive in hunting war criminals, was once asked for forgiveness by a dying SS soldier. Wiesenthal refused, and the soldier died that night.
"He should have forgiven him," says Mrs Kor. "I would have forgiven him immediately. By not doing so, Wiesenthal diminished his own humanity.
"Those who chase war criminals believe in an eye for an eye. I do not care if that was God's idea or the idea of the people who follow him. It is not the way to deal with the past."
But Efraim Zuroff, head of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre's Jerusalem office, is appalled by Mrs Kor's suggestions.
"She's talking like a Catholic priest, not a Jewish Holocaust survivor," he says. "That kind of attitude does no good for society. It gives a path to freedom for mass murderers."
Dr Zuroff, who has lists of alleged war criminals in several countries, including Australia, that he wants brought to trial, says: "These people, these killers, in 99.99 per cent of the cases, show no remorse for what they did. They have to pay a price for that."
The concept of justice, Dr Zuroff says, is a cornerstone of a humane society. And he disputes Mrs Kor's view that justice does not help victims. "It certainly does," he says. "It helps bring closure."
Auschwitz survivor Irene Hizmae, who was subjected to experiments with her twin brother, does not agree with Mrs Kor either. "Some crimes are so great that there can be no forgiveness," says Ms Hizmae, who lives in New York. She thinks there is a case for executing war criminals. She also rejects Mrs Kor's assertion that forgiveness is the only way to make the psychological pain go away. "I don't forgive and I am not in pain." Punishment, she adds, can also bring closure.
'I want to tell you I forgive you for what you have done'
"YOU won't remember me but I was in Auschwitz concentration camp where you were known as the Angel of Death. I was 10 years old.
"The Nazis murdered 117 members of my family, including my parents and my two sisters while you and other Nazi doctors subjected me and my twin sister, Miriam, to horrific medical experiments.
"You extracted a lot of blood from me. I lost consciousness a lot as you tried to determine how much blood a child could lose and yet stay alive.
"You had me stripped naked while you measured every inch of my body for eight hours a day, and you gave me injections which still make me very ill.
"One day you looked at my chart in your laboratory when I was very sick and said I would not live two weeks.
"You were waiting for me to die. Then, my sister, Miriam, was to be rushed to your laboratory and killed with an injection to the heart, and you would autopsy us both as part of your experiment.
"We were among the 3000 or so twins selected, of which only about 200 survived, many of them with illnesses that would kill them, or leave them in pain and psychological torture for the rest of their lives.
"Miriam died in 1993 from illness caused by experiments which you did on her.
"The abuse of her at Auschwitz meant her kidneys did not grow beyond those of a 10-year-old.
"But she got a few extra years of life because I gave her one of my kidneys, which luckily matched. After all, we were 99.9 per cent identical, which was one of the reasons you were interested in us in the first place.
"I got married and had children and am living in Terre Haute, Indiana, in the United States, where I run a small Holocaust museum, which is the only one of 40 such museums in the world dedicated to murdered children and to those brutalised by you at Auschwitz.
"I would like to talk with you about what happened at Auschwitz. Most of all, I want to tell you that I forgive you for what you have done."
EVA MOZES KOR