Yesterday I once again had the privileged of listening to Eva Mozes Kor speak. Eva and her sister Miriam were twins who were experimented on by Dr. Mengele at Auschwitz, one of the concentration camps during the Holocaust of WWII. Eva has been coming to speak with our 8th grade class for the past 15 years. I share this with you because what she shared with us were 3 experiences she had, and 3 lessons she learned.
At the age of 10, Eva was brought into the camp in a cattle car with her family. As her family was loaded off the train, males went one way, females another. A Nazi shouting TWINS, her mother not knowing if this was good or bad, a Nazi acknowledging good, their mother nodded yes and Eva and Miriam were ripped out of the tight grasp of their mothers hand. Within 10 minutes, Eva and Miriam had lost their entire family. Eva described the barracks that the twins stayed. She described stepping over young corpses in the latrine, and making a solemn pledge in her mind that she and her sister would escape that fate. She described the injections of germs and diseases she would be given in one arm, while blood would be taken from her other. She described laying in a bunk so close to death and hearing Dr. Mengele, the angel of death, said laughing sarcastically "too bad she's so young, she only has 2 weeks to live" and mark her off his list. She described in this death barrack the fact that there was no food, no water, just the wait for death or your fever to break, and her knowing where water was. At 10 years old, crawling, dragging herself across a cold floor, drifting in and out of consciousness toward water, knowing that she needed that to survive.
Her 3 life lessons were this.
1. NEVER give up. No matter how difficult life is, what your circumstance, no matter what your dream, never give up. If you keep hammering away, your wonderful minds will come up with answers that will work, never give up on yourself or give up on your dreams, and everything good in your life will happen.
2. Do not prejudge. Prejudice was one of the reasons that Hitler succeeded to rising in power. Realize that everything that we do touches the lives of another. Just as a stone tossed into a still lake makes a ripple out, if two stones are tossed the ripples they make will reach each other. Treat everyone we meet in our daily lives with respect and kindness and judge them on their actions, by doing so we are making a difference in the world one person at a time.
3. Forgive. Forgiveness is nothing more or nothing less than an act of self healing and taking control back over our own life. Having the power to forgive is a power that everyone has that no one can take away. Using your power of forgiveness will heal your soul and set you free. Eva's letter of amnesty
This was the third time I've listened to her speak. Each time has been inspiring. I urge everyone to be inspired daily.