Eva Mozes Kor

Holocaust survivor Eva Mozes Kor will speak at Black Hills State University Thursday, March 15 at 3:30 p.m. in the Meier Recital Hall, as part of the Madeline A. Young Distinguished Speaker Series.

Eva survived the Holocaust and became a forgiveness advocate and a revered public speaker. Powered by a never-give-up attitude, she has emerged through a life filled with trauma as a shining example of the power of the human spirit to overcome. 

Eva was born in the tiny village of Portz, Romania, in 1934. Her family enjoyed a comfortable living, until the Nazi takeover of Germany.   Eva's father, Alexander Mozes, was a wealthy landowner and farmer. He and wife Jaffa had four girls: Edit, Aliz, and the twins Eva and Miriam.

When Eva and Miriam were six, their small village was occupied by a Hungarian Nazi armed guard. The Mozes family was the only Jewish family in the village. After being under occupation for four years, the Mozes family was transported to the regional ghetto in Simleu Silvaniei in 1944. Just a few weeks later, the family was loaded with other Jewish prisoners onto a cattle car and transported to the Auschwitz Nazi death camp.

After a 70-hour ordeal without food or water, Eva and her family emerged from the packed cattle car onto the selection platform at Auschwitz. In the mass of people that poured out of the cattle car, Eva and Miriam gripped their mother's hands. Eva looked around and realized her father and two older sisters were gone. She never saw them again.

While at Auschwitz, Eva and her twin sister Miriam were subjected to human experimentation under Dr. Josef Mengele.  They became part of a group of children who were used as human guinea pigs in genetic experiments.

The event is sponsored by the Madeline A. Young Distinguished Speaker Series. The series was established in 1986 by a gift endowment from Madeline Young, a 1924 alumna. Young expressed her desire to host controversial, stimulating, and enlivening speakers at BHSU. It was initiated at the University in 1987, with an address by former United Nations Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick. Other Madeline Young Speakers have included: Terry Waite, former hostage, hostage negotiator and envoy for England’s Archbishop of Canterbury; Felix Justice and Danny Glover, actors; Sam Donaldson, television broadcaster; Doris Kearns Goodwin, Pulitzer Prize winner; and Lech Walesa, former Polish president.

The event is free and open to the public.  For more information contact Steve Meeker, vice president for University Advancement, at 642-6288.