March 21, 2014 05:02

Holocaust survivor speaks at local school

Eva Mozes Kor is a picture of the power of doing more than surviving. The Holocaust survivor who, with her twin sister, was the subject of human experimentation in Auschwitz shared her extraordinary story with Lafayette students this week.

The STEM Academy hosted the woman who founded the organization CANDLES (an acronym for "Children of Auschwitz Nazi Deadly Lab Experiments Survivors"), through which she located 122 other living twins, who survived the experiments. But, it was her amazing announcement of forgiveness that perhaps stands above everything else she has done.

Ninth grader Ray Walters III is one of the Lafayette students who had a chance to hear Kor's story first hand and escort the founder of a museum and education center devoted to eugenics, the Holocaust, and the power of forgiveness. His mother, Johanna Villareal, says it's a one in a lifetime opportunity to hear first hand the stories of survival and atrocities of concentration and death camps.

"This small child (Eva) endured terrible things, lived to tell her story and more importantly make sure it is never forgotten while extending a message of forgiveness. Forgiveness seems unimaginable but she does and it is so honorable and holy," Villareal says.

Eva's story was explored in a documentary (Forgiving Mr. Mengele) and includes the experience that included her publicly forgiving the Nazis.

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