Eva Mozes Kor and her identical twin, Miriam Mozes, survived the deadly genetic experiments conducted by “The Angel of Death”, Josef Mengele, in the death camp Auschwitz during World War II. Their entire family – parents, grandparents, two older sisters, uncles, aunts and cousins – were killed ..
Mengele did a number of medical experiments of unspeakable horror at Auschwitz, using twins. These twins as young as five and six years of age were usually murdered after the experiment was over and their bodies dissected. A smiling “uncle Mengele” injected chemicals into the eyes of children in an attempt to change their eye color. He made experimental surgeries performed without anesthesia, transfusions of blood from one twin to another, isolation endurance, reaction to various stimuli. He made injections with lethal germs, sex change operations, the removal of organs and limbs.
Approximately three thousand twins passed through Auschwitz during WWII until its liberation at the end of the war. Only a few of these twins survived the experiments which they were subjected to at the hands of Mengele. Among them were Eva and Miriam Mozes.
Eva and Miriam Mozes were born in the small village of Portz, Romania, on Jan. 30, 1934. Life for the Mozes family was good for years, but in March of 1944, the family was told to gather a few belongings because they were going to be relocated. They were taken to a ghetto in Simleul Silvanei and then deported to Auschwitz.
Eva later recalled how she and her family arrived at the Auschwitz railhead:
‘When the doors to our cattle car opened, I heard SS soldiers yelling, “Schnell! Schnell!”, and ordering everybody out. My mother grabbed Miriam and me by the hand. She was always trying to protect us because we were the youngest. Everything was moving very fast, and as I looked around, I noticed my father and my two older sisters were gone. As I clutched my mother’s hand, an SS man hurried by shouting, “Twins! Twins!” He stopped to look at us. Miriam and I looked very much alike. “Are they twins?” he asked my mother. “Is that good?” she replied. He nodded yes. “They are twins,” she said.
Once the SS guard knew we were twins, Miriam and I were taken away from our mother, without any warning or explanation. Our screams fell on deaf ears. I remember looking back and seeing my mother’s arms stretched out in despair as we were led away by a soldier. That was the last time I saw her ..”
After the liberation of the camp, Eva and Miriam were the first two twins in the famous film taken by the Soviets – often shown in footage about the horrors of Holocaust. In some ways the picture is misleading. The Mengele twins never wore striped camp uniforms. They were Mengele’s favorite subjects, and they were afforded special treatment, such as being able to keep their own hair and clothing, and receiving extra food rations. As long as they stayed healthy and useful to Mengele, they would be kept alive.
In 1950 Eva and Miriam received visas for Israel and went there. They became members of a kibbutz, populated mostly by orphans. In 1952, they both joined the Israeli Army. Eva studied drafting and Miriam became a nurse. In 1960, Eva married an American tourist, Michael Kor, also a concentration camp survivor, and came to the United States, settling in Terre Haute, Indiana.
In 1985, 40 years after the liberation of Auschwitz, Eva Mozes Kor, Miriam, and other survivors returned to Auschwitz and subsequently conducted a mock trial of Josef Mengele in Israel, which received international news coverage.
Eva Mozes Kor is the author of books on her experience and she has spoken to over 400 schools, universities, conferences, synagogues, and civic groups. She is the founder of the Holocaust Museum and Education center in Terre Haute, Indiana, and the C.A.N.D.L.E.S., an acronym for Children of Auschwitz Nazi’s Deadly Lab Experiments Survivors. This organization of the Mengele Twins has located and reunited many survivors of the experiments and is dedicated “to heal the pain, to teach the truth, to prevent prejudice.”As adults, Eva and Miriam suffered serious health problems. Eva suffered from miscarriages and tuberculosis. Her son had cancer. Miriam’s kidneys never fully developed and she died in 1993 of a rare form of cancer, probably brought on by the unknown medical experiments and injections which she was subjected to at the hands of Josef Mengele.
And Mengele? Despite international efforts to track him down, Mengele was never apprehended and lived for 35 years hiding under various aliases. He fled to South America, and moved from country to country afraid of being caught. There were many warrants, rewards, and bounties offered, but he was lucky. He lived in Paraguay and Brazil until his death in 1979. One afternoon, living in Brazil, he went for a swim. While in the ocean he suffered a massive stroke and began to drown. By the time he was dragged to shore, The Angel of Death was dead …