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Survivor of Holocaust twin experiments to speak at Randolph

Eva Kor

Eva Kor

Randolph College is partnering with the Holocaust Education Foundation of Central Virginia to host two special programs this month featuring Eva Mozes Kor, a Holocaust survivor, author, and internationally recognized forgiveness and human rights advocate.

Kor is a native of Romania whose family was sentenced by the Nazis to the Auschwitz death camp in 1944. Separated from the rest of their family, she and her twin sister Miriam were among approximately 1,500 sets of twins selected for genetic experiments by Nazi scientists. The deadly lab experiments were overseen by Dr. Josef Mengele.

After being freed by Soviet forces in January 1945, the Kor sisters spent nine months in refugee camps before returning to Romania. In 1960, Eva Kor married another Holocaust survivor, Michael Kor, and moved with him to the United States. Determined to find other survivors of the Mengele experiments, Kor founded Children of Auschwitz Nazi Deadly Lab Experiments Survivors (CANDLES) in 1984. The organization has helped connect 122 individual twins living across 10 countries and four continents.

In 1995, Kor shocked the world when she returned to Auschwitz to announce that she had chosen to forgive the Nazis who had tortured her and her sister and murdered the rest of her family. Now 81 years old, she continues her efforts to raise awareness about the Holocaust and the Mengele experiments, and to advocate for forgiveness through the CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center.

On November 15, Randolph College will show the documentary Forgiving Dr. Mengele, which chronicles Kor’s story and her decision to forgive. The screening begins at 7:30 p.m. in Nichols Theatre, located inside the Student Center.

On November 17, Kor will visit Randolph to give a lecture on the human spirit’s power to overcome tragedy and trauma. The presentation starts at 7:30 p.m. in the Smith Hall Theatre, inside the Smith Memorial Building.

Kor is one of several Holocaust survivors to share their perspectives with the Randolph community. In 2014, Margit Meissner told the story of how she escaped Paris on a bicycle as Nazi forces approached the city—only to be arrested after crossing the Spanish border. In 2011, Gerda Wiessman Klein, recipient of the 2011 Presidential Medal of Freedom, urged Randolph students to advocate for tolerance and service and to do their part to combat hunger.

“There’s no topic I teach that means more to me than the Holocaust,” said history professor Gerry Sherayko. “The impact that those horrific events had on people’s lives and even their children’s lives and beyond is so significant, and now with the opportunity closing to hear from eyewitnesses it’s so important to bring these kinds of speakers to campus.”

Both of this month’s events featuring Eva Kor are free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Sherayko at (434) 947-8521 or

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