Eva Kor, Extra Credit

Any story of survival and triumph is a story that will inspire. It will inspire emotions, inspire actions, and possibly inspire changes of a mental state or viewpoint. In the case of survival stories in relation to the Holocaust, there are always very strong emotional reactions. The story of Eva Kor is absolutely no exception. It is amazing what a person can withstand if they have determination and incredible willpower. A body is a body. It is a physical, essentially ‘set’ thing that no amount of thought or will can alter. Bodies work the same way; the same things hurt all of them. However, when you are put into such a horrific, powerful situation-such as the Holocaust- you can either choose to lie down and not fight, or you can set your mind on surviving. If your mind doesn’t care about your wellbeing, then your body is not going to be far behind. The stronger your mind fights, the stronger your body can fight.

Being able to set your mind so strongly on living, when everything is physically against this happening has to be one of the most difficult things that a human being can face. I have been fortunate enough in my short lifetime to never have had to experience this, but one can imagine. The horror stories told by Eva Kor, as well as those stories of other Holocaust victims, almost seem impossible. Those things are hard to imagine as someone’s reality. They are stories you would expect to find in the most gruesome horror film. It is very difficult to be able to wrap your mind around the knowledge that this fragile, adorable old woman sitting in front of this huge crowd truly stood on that ground back in the 1940’s. Had to go day to day, knowing what horrors were coming-and yet not knowing all at once. No knowledge of what was happening to loved ones, not having control over what was being done. How can one possibly come out of almost a year of that and make the decision to forgive, to not let it not cloak your life, your heart, your mind for the rest of your life. How can one possibly move past it and live normally?

I truly admire the story that was told by Eva. She has displayed, and still displays to this day, courage that most cannot fathom. I doubt that I would be able to look in the face of Dr. Munch and forgive, to make the decision to forgive my own personal tormentor-and the tormentor of my family, Dr. Mengele. This story is absolute proof that forgiveness is never the weak choice. It is one of the strongest, most courageous, admirable choices that a person can make. The human capacity for love and kindness is just as great as the capacity for hate and selfishness, but perhaps it takes an even more devoted, strong person to choose the lighter path.

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