Sunday, December 28, 2014

Surviving the Angel of Death by Eva Mozes Kor

3.5 Stars
Surviving the Angel of Death is the true story of Eva Mozes and her twin sister Miriam and the place where they were raised . . .

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"At Auschwitz dying was so easy. Surviving was a fulltime job. We gave them our blood, our bodies, our pride, our dignity, and in turn, they let us live one more day."

Eva and Miriam began their life as normal as you or I . . .

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They were born to a middle-income family in Romania and were doted on by all for not only being adorable, but for being a matched set as well. When war broke out, many of Eva's relatives fled to Palestine in order to escape the rumored persecution of the Jews they kept hearing about, but Eva's mother held her ground and refused to move. By refusing to flee she signed the death certificate for nearly their entire family. Portions of Romania were eventually turned over to Hungarian rule and the family was relocated first to one of the many ghettos and eventually onto a train which would transport them to Auschwitz.

It is there the girls were put under the care of Dr. Josef Mengele.

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The remainder of the book is Eva and Miriam's remarkable tale of survival. Ms. Kor tells of how she and her sister had to endure illness, starvation and experimentation at the hand of the Nazis. And amazingly, at the end of it all she talks about forgiveness . . .

"I hope, in some small way, to send the world a message of forgiveness; a message of peace, a message of hope, a message of healing. Let there be no more wars, no more experiments without informed consent, no more gas chambers, no more bombs, no more hatred, no more killing, no more Auschwitzes."

This story is such an important one and I applaud Ms. Kor's decision to write it in a style appropriate for children. There are no gory details or any added "shock and awe" factors other than the horrifying reality of life in a concentration camp told. The effect is still chilling.

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