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Monday, January 2, 2012

Surviving the Angel of Death: The Story of a Mengele Twin in Auschwitz by Eva Mozes Kor and Lisa Rojany Buccieri


Eva Mozes Kor was 10 years old when she arrived in Auschwitz. While her parents and two older sisters were taken to the gas chambers, she and her twin, Miriam, were herded into the care of the man known as the Angel of Death, Dr. Josef Mengele. Mengele's twins were granted the privileges of keeping their own clothes and hair, but they were also subjected to sadistic medical experiments and forced to fight daily for their own survival, as most of the twins died as a result of the experiements or from the disease and hunger pervasive in the camp. In a narrative told with emotion and restraint, readers will learn of a child's endurance and survival in the face of truly extraordinary evil. The book also includes an epilogue on Eva's recovery from this experience and her remarkable decision to publicly forgive the Nazis. Through her museum and her lectures, she has dedicated her life to giving testimony on the Holocaust, providing a message of hope for people who have suffered, and working toward goals of forgiveness, peace, and the elimination of hatred and prejudice in the world.
Summary taken from

I generally don't read things about the Holocaust in fact I think I've only read a dozen books about it in my entire life, it is not because I don't care and it is not because I'm not interested because I do and I am. I just get bogged down reading other things.
So last night I stayed up and read and finished this book in one sitting. This is the Memoir of Eva Mozes Kor that focuses on her life when she was used as a guinea pig for Dr. Josef Mengele along side her identical twin sister Miriam when they were just 10 years old.
The atrocities both her and her sister went through were horrific. They were ripped away from their parents and older sisters because they were twins and Dr. Josef Mengele the "Angel of Death" wanted to use them to experiment on hoping to find away to perfect a way to make the Aryan race by studying twins.
Eva, the dominant twin though being younger than her sister Miriam became the strong one while they suffered in the concentration camps. The two sisters used each other to push each other forward and stay alive. Even when Eva was injected with a needle that resulted in her getting sick her twin  Miriam went a week without eating her meager rations so that her sister Eva, would be able to eat because she was sick the nurses weren't feeding her, giving her water or medicine and were just waiting for the sickness to take her. Imagine being that 10 year old girl who only received a piece of bread two inches  big to eat every day giving it up in hopes that her sister would get better.
And get better she did.
When Eva was finally reunited with her sister she found her to be a shadow of her former self. While Eva was isolated in the hospital Miriam was put in solitary confinement and lost the will to live. Through sheer determination Eva found a way to keep her dear twin alive by stealing from the Nazis until her sister returned from that dark place she retreated to within herself.
Shortly after they were liberated from the concentration camp by the Soviets and after much hardship including losing each other for 24 hours they managed with help of one of the organizations at the time and a woman they knew before the war made it back to their old home, hopeful that their mother, father and two sisters would be at home, that they escaped the horrible concentration camps.
When they returned home, they were met with the dilapidated sight of their old house and a cousin who took them to their aunt who they lived with until they moved to Israel where the twins grew into young women.
Eva became a draftswoman and Miriam a Nurse. Then one day Eva met a man who she would later marry and move to America with. Though she hated the thought of leaving her sister she did and made a life for herself and had two children.
She went on to do great things including starting an organization with Miriam for the survivors of Josef Mengele's Twin experiments. Then in 1993 due to an injection she received after years of kidney problems Miriam passed away.
Despite everything she went through Eva was able to rise above the hate and was able to forgive the Nazi's who tortured her and so many others.
This was a heart wrenching account of the atrocities suffered in World War II from the eyes of a child and I feel privledged to have read this book. Eva and all the people who suffered during that time have my utmost respect.
This book is perfect for all audiences 12 years old and up. It is written in a way that is neither too simple nor too complex. It is my hope that in today's turbulent world that these things don't happen again.

*I recieved a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my free and honest review.

★ ★ ★ ★


  1. These types of books can be very informative but heart wrenching to read. I too hope that no one has to ever experience the atrocities that were inflicted on Holocaust victims.

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  3. I was very pleased to find this web-site. I wanted to thanks for your time for this wonderful read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you blog post.

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