Holocaust survivor will spread message of forgiveness in Manchester
Bethlehem service to commemorate Holocaust Remembrance DayBETHLEHEM — The Bethlehem Hebrew Congregation invites members of the community to attend a Holocaust Remembrance Day service at 4 p.m. Sunday, April 27, in the Bethlehem Hebrew Congregation Synagogue sanctuary, Strawberry Hill Street.
Holocaust Remembrance Day, Yom HaShoah, has been established for community-wide Holocaust remembrance services to honor man's triumph over darkness.
The date of Holocaust Remembrance Day is set each year to correspond with the Hebrew calendar date of Nisan 27, on which Yom HaShoah (Day of Holocaust Remembrance) is commemorated.
For more information, to participate as a reader, and to RSVP, contact Martin Kessel, email@example.com or call 869-5557.
"There were scattered naked corpses of three children. Their bodies were shriveled," Kor said in a phone interview last week. "I made a silent pledge that I am going to do everything in my power to not end up like them on the latrine floor."
Her talk will be part of Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust and Heroism and Remembrance Day, at Temple Israel, 66 Salmon St. The service will begin at 6:30 p.m., with Kor expected to begin her presentation at 7 p.m. Attendance is free.
The sisters were taken to Auschwitz at the age of 10, where Dr. Josef Mengele used them for medical experiments. Both survived, but Miriam died in 1993 when she developed cancer of the bladder as a consequence of the experiments done to her as a child.
"Now we talk and Skype together," said Der Koorkanian. "I had an open house here for the Manchester Historic Association, and a reverend from Brookside Church was here and we started talking. I suggested Kor be brought here to talk about what happened."
"My father said as long as you say your prayers, did the good deeds that God wanted you to do, the Nazis won't come here looking for six Jews," said Kor, during a phone interview last week from her home in Indiana.
Kors' pledge to survive was tested throughout her captivity by Dr. Josef Mengele, the "Angel of Death" of Auschwitz.
Mengele performed experiments on his victims, studying the effects of drugs and poisons on twins, using one as a human guinea pig, the other as a control specimen.
"I made a pledge that I refused to die," said Kor. "I spoiled their experiment because I survived."
"I have personally experienced the act of forgiveness that gave me my emotional freedom. No human being can be free — emotionally free and mentally free — without forgiving people who have wronged them," Kor said. "I want to change that old phrase from 'forgive and forget' to 'forgive and heal' because we should never forget.''
"It's important to hear from people like Kor because they are dying," said Der Koorkanian. "This story should be passed on, to make sure it never happens again."
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