Students at Harding University hosted an incredible speaker Tuesday night. Eva Kor, a Holocaust survivor, traveled to the Arkansas college to not only recount the horrific human experiments but to spread a message of hope and forgiveness.
As she enters her early 80s, Kor is still full of life, but there was once a time when she believed she would never make it through her childhood. Born in Transylvania, Romania, Kor and her family were the only Jewish people in her village and one day everything changed.
"They loaded us into cattle cars and four days later we arrived in a godforsaken place called Auschwitz," Kor recalled.
But while countless people suffered in Auschwitz, Kor and her sister had a very different experience. The two were twins and that meant they were in high demand by the Nazis.
"We were used in experiments six days a week," she said.
Kor said those experiments, led by Nazi doctor Josef Mengele, were used to "study" the similarities and differences in identical and fraternal twins. Both Kor and her sister were injected hundreds of times with mysterious substances. Kor could only theorize that the injections were drugs, diseases and germs, but never truly knew what they kept putting into her body.
In between the experiments and outside the wired fences of Auschwitz, Kor remembers the sounds of war filling her days in the concentration camp. But one day, the bombing and the gunshots stopped and unexpected visitors arrived.
"I didn't know who they were," Kor said. "There was no official to tell us anything, but one thing I could guess was that they didn't look like Nazis and that was good enough for me."
Kor said that to survive a place as gruesome and horrific as Auschwitz you need two things: a lot of luck and an "unbelievable will to live."
"Surviving was difficult, [but] dying was very easy," she said.
Among the 1,500 pair of twins that were experimented on, only 200 survived and Kor was one of them.
Incredibly, Kor has forgiven Mengele and other Nazis and instead pushes to spread that message of forgiveness across the world.
You can still visit the Auschwitz exhibit that Kor visited Tuesday in the Stevens Art Gallery at Harding University.