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"Forgiving Dr. Mengele" Screening Oct. 15 at WIU

October 9, 2008

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MACOMB, IL - - Could you find in your heart to forgive your worst enemy if doing so would help you heal?

That's what Auschwitz survivor Eva Kor did Jan. 27, 1995.

"At the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, I stood by the ruins of the gas chambers with my children -- Dr. Alex Kor and Rina Kor - - and with (former Auschwitz) Dr. (Hans) Munch and his children and grandchild. Dr. Munch signed his document about the operation of the gas chambers while I read my document of forgiveness and signed it. As I did that I felt a burden of pain was lifted from me. I was no longer in the grip of pain and hate; I was finally free," reads Kor's web page at

Kor and award-winning film-maker Bob Hercules will be in Macomb Wednesday, Oct. 15 for two public screenings and discussions of the 2007 Heartland award-winning documentary "Forgiving Dr. Mengele," an 80-minute film about Kor and the international fury she started when she announced her forgiveness of the man (Dr. Josef Mengele) who tortured her and her twin sister, Maria, which led to Maria's death.

Hercules and Kor will give their presentation from 2:30-4:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 300 Wigwam Hollow Road, and then from 7-9:30 p.m. in the WIU University Union Heritage Room. The sessions are open free to the public.

Earlier in the day, Hercules will share his documentary with some 100 regional high school journalists who will be on campus for Western's Fifth Annual Journalism Day.

"I believe with every fiber of my being that every human being has the right to live without the pain of the past," said Kor, who lives in Terre Haute (IN), is a real estate agent and funds the C.A.N.D.L.E.S. (Children of Auschwitz Nazi Deadly Experiment Survivors) Holocaust museum, on The Forgiveness Project web site.

"For most people there is a big obstacle to forgiveness because society expects revenge…Some survivors do not want to let go of the pain. They call me a traitor and accuse me of talking in their name. I have never done this…Forgiveness is really nothing more than an act of self-healing and self-empowerment. I call it a miracle medicine. It is free, it works and has no side effects," Kor added.

The screening and discussion are part of Western's Journalism Day 2008, with sponsorship by the University Theme committee, the Center of Innovation in Teaching and Research, Visiting Lectures Committee, the Department of English and Journalism, Malpass Library, First Year Experience, Hillel and the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Macomb.

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