By ADRIANNA BROWN
Nothing but silence fell upon a packed room of students, professors and second-generation Holocaust survivors as 82-year-old Eva Kor described her living conditions in Auschwitz concentration camp during a time of international war and national tyranny.
On Thursday, Feb. 11, Kor delivered her three-part presentation via Skype in the Dehornle Lecture Hall, to an audience comprised of Dr. Grayson’s, Dr. Watson’s and Professor Kerker’s students, along with a select number of Generation Next members.
As one of the 1500 set of twins that underwent experimentation by a team of Nazi doctors, led by Dr. Josef Mengele, Kor recalled the horrendous experiences she was subjected to.
“On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, we were taken to a lab where we stood naked for 8 hours. On Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, we went to another lab, which I used to call the ‘Blood Lab,” said Kor.
In the Blood Lab, doctors would cut her blood circulation by tying her arms. Then they would inject her with unknown substances, one to which made her very ill.
“I was in the hospital with a fever when Dr. Mengele said I would not last two weeks,” said Kor. “I was determined to prove Dr. Mengele wrong.”
This is the first time Lynn has hosted a Skype conference call for a Holocaust survivor, an event sponsored by Generation Next, Hillel and the Law and Justice Club.
“It is not just enough to study the Holocaust or the trials,” said Sydnee Kerker, professor. “It is actually feeling like you can connect. It becomes more than a fact or statistic, it is real to them.”
Professor Kerker joined forces with Brenda Wertheim, Executive Director of Next Generations, an organization of second-generation survivors, in order to bring the event to life.
“She is a true inspiration and a true survivor,” said Wertheim, who is the child of a survivor herself. “She survived Auschwitz because she was determined to.”
Aside from the will to live on, members of Kor’s audience were in awe of her ability to forgive the Nazis that tormented her and her twin sister, Miriam.
“I though she was incredible,” said Stephanie Woloshin, vice president of Hillel and president of Students Supporting Israel, both Jewish based organizations. “Her ability to forgive, to be positive, proactive and not reactive, is [incredible] as well.”
Ari Moore, Engagement Associate of Hillel, voiced the same opinion of Kor’s forbearance.
“It makes you put things in perspective,” said Moore.
“I thought she is an amazing human being because she can actually forgive,” said Professor Kerker. “She can choose to forgive, she has that control. She owns it.”
After Kor finished her forty-five minute session, she answered questions and ranted about students in baggy jeans. The sound of silence was replaced by laughter and applause.
David Shlepakov, student representative of Hillel, vocalized why events like this, where Holocaust survivors can share their experiences, are so important. “Everyone has a different story to tell. These stories bring something from within, so it connects you to the speaker, to the time period and to the Jewish people.”
For Kor, it was a story of determination, survival and forgiveness.
“We had the determination,” she said, before hanging up the call. “To survive one more experiment, to live one more day.”