Affected by the Holocaust
“I thought that the whole world was a concentration camp. And I concentrated on one single thing. How to survive one more day. How to survive one more experiment. How not to get sick” - Eva Kol, Auschwitz concentration camp survivor, Forgiving Dr. Mengele
Survive. Can you imagine making this your priority every single day? Not living, but surviving. This quote is 50 years after WWII had ended and this lady, Eva Kor, still thinks in that same way. One event was able to affect someone in such a way. She wasn’t the only one either. 60,000 people were liberated from these camps and many, if not all, of which were given a different view on life. It’s not hard to understand why. Seeing people every day who were sick or diseased with no treatment or people who were malnourished with little food. Smelling the burning flesh of dead human corpses being burned in a giant oven. Sleeping on wooden bunks every night and having to do excruciating work for little to no payment. People were dehumanized. Having their name removed in place of a number. They were not human anymore. They were objects to be used however seemed fit and they had to oblige. No matter how gruesome the task may have been. The emotion felt by survivors holds so much power and has such important meaning to the understanding of the life of those who were affected. Many people were affected by the war. The adults, the children, and even those of us who live in the present day have been affected by the holocaust. Those affects vary from being negative and even positive. The Survivors
In the film Forgiving Dr. Mengele, Eva Kor talks about the process of forgiving German Doctor Josef Mengele also known as the “Angel of Death” for his inhumane treatment and experimentation on her and her twin sister as well as the killing of millions of human beings. What she said was, in a way, hard to believe. In the same sense, it’s easy to understand. You are young. You are still learning and understanding life. All of a sudden, you are put somewhere and treated a certain way for reasons that don’t seem to make sense to you. The most interesting thing about this quote is it describes how she lives her life post WWII. She looks at the world today and thinks of it as a concentration camp. This is coming from someone who endured some of the most tragic living conditions in the history of mankind and she compares those experiences to the scale of the world. Her mind circles around the thought of “The world is capable of unspeakable things so I must be prepared for the worst.” Vera Kriegel, a former Mengele twin talks about Dr. Mengele, “…he’s like me. He has two eyes. He has a nose. He has a mouth. He has ears. He is no different than me. Why is he doing this to me?” She’s saying he’s human. She notices the similarities between them or maybe she notices the few differences. Why would a human being treat another human being this way? I think that is why Eva Kor lives the way she does believing what she believes, that the world is a concentration camp. Being in the camp made her believe something, it made her believe that anyone was possible of doing anything no matter how traumatic or how unthinkable it may be. I think that she believed that there are people in charge in society and that even though they may be capable of coming across as believable, harmless, and truthful that they are capable of the worst things possible. One of Eva’s friends mentioned a few things about Eva’s life. “Impact from it is observable in many ways… she never leaves any food on her plate. If we are every going anywhere where there is breakfast stuff, she always wraps up something to take with her. When she sleeps in the room at night, we have to have the chain locked, the pad locked and she sleeps on her purse. So it’s like her possessions in Auschwitz that you had to safeguard so closely. Never wanting to be...
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