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Auschwitz survivor to speak at Clarkson

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POTSDAM - Clarkson University invites the community to hear a powerful message of forgiveness from Auschwitz survivor Eva Mozes Kor at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 8 in Science Center Room 360. The event is free and open to the public.

When she was about 10 years old, Kor and her family were taken by the Nazis to the Auschwitz slave labor and extermination camp, where her parents and two older sisters were quickly sent to the gas chambers.

Kor and her sister, Miriam, were twins, so they were of chilling interest to Dr. Josef Mengele, who subjected them to a series of heinous human experiments.

Her talk, “The Journey from Auschwitz & Mengele to Forgiveness,” tells the amazing story of what she endured and how she eventually came to forgive Mengele and the Nazis.

Sheila Faith Weiss, professor of history in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at Clarkson, arranged for Kor to share her story.

“I received a $277,000 National Science Foundation grant to write a biography of Dr. Mengele’s mentor, the German human geneticist Baron Otmar von Verschuer, and I had been in contact with Eva Mozes Kor,” Weiss says.

“Because I am teaching a seminar on the Holocaust this semester, I asked Eva whether she might be willing to give a lecture at Clarkson. Normally, she would have charged more for her talk, but generously agreed to accept significantly less so we could bring her here. Her message is especially important for our students to hear.”

Trained in German history and the history of biology, Weiss has written a book which explores the background that led to the kind of bestial human experimentation Kor was subjected to in Auschwitz. The Nazi Symbiosis, Human Genetics and Politics in the Third Reich (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010) raises compelling questions about medicine and ethics.

Eva and Miriam Kor were among the 200 children — mostly surviving twins — liberated from Auschwitz by Soviet soldiers in January 1945. After returning to her homeland, Romania, following a stay in a Displaced Persons’ Camp, Eva Kor moved to Israel. It was here where she met her future husband.

The couple settled in Terre Haute, Ind., and in 1984, she and her now deceased twin sister Miriam, established the C.A.N.D.L.E.S. (Children of Auschwitz Nazi Deadly Lab Experiment Survivors) Museum. Dedicated to education about the Holocaust, its mission is to “eliminate hatred and prejudice from our world.”

Kor’s lecture is sponsored by the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, the David A. Walsh ’67 Arts & Sciences Seminar Series, the Department of Biology, the Office of Student Life & Engagement, and the Dean of Students Office.

For more information, please contact Weiss at sheilafw@clarkson.edu.

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