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when hummingbirds land

Holocaust Survivor Eva Moses Kor

Everyone, at least everyone with a soul, thinks the holocaust was a horrendous, evil part of recent history. I don’t think that I need to elaborate on what makes it so. It hits me hard when I try to comprehend it. But when I hear of inhumanity, I try to reflect on who I am and what can I change about myself, because we have all been guilty of hate. When I learned about Eva Kor and her perspective on forgiveness I found what I could change about myself. I have suffered far less than she ever has and I still hang on to so much bitterness and anger sometimes.

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I won’t go into the details of her story because this isn’t really a wordy blog. She is on Twitter, and Facebook, and has a website- www.candlesholocaustmuseum.org and I highly recommend learning her story for yourself. The point is that she is not only a holocaust survivor, but she was subjected to cruel experimentation at the hands of Josef Menegle “the Angel of Death” and she made a choice to forgive. She took the opportunity to choose what would define her instead of letting that experience control her heart.

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I knew of her long before this opportunity to photograph her speaking event for MTSU, so when I found out that I was invited early to have dinner with the coordinators and Eva and her entourage I was not only thrilled that I would get to meet her, but eager for my son, who was attempting to read Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (Eva and I both talked him into waiting a few more years) to take part in such a rare opportunity. His generation won’t hear or see as much as we did about the holocaust as it falls farther away from our recent past. She offered him some personal wisdom face to face, and I know he doesn’t quite grasp it yet, but I am still in awe of the fact that we came in contact with history. We met the beauty that can come from ashes.

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So many people showed up that the aisles people were sitting on the floor. She felt it was so important for the students there to hear her that she invited them to sit up on stage with her and many of them asked her questions at the end.

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What an amazing opportunity this was for me. The window is close to closing on meeting anyone who was there and knows it firsthand. “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

Beth Rose GoinComment