Auschwitz survivor embraces former Nazi prison guard during trial

 

 

embrace-634x357An 81-year-old woman who miraculously survived the horrors of Auschwitz recently received a hand shake, a hug and a kiss on the cheek from one of the Nazi guards responsible for ensuring she did not escape from the concentration camp.

Former SS Sgt. Oskar Groening, who is now 93-years-old, is currently on trial for 300,000 counts of accessory to murder for the gruesome deaths at Auschwitz. Eva Kor’s entire family was killed at the camp.

But Kor and her twin sister, who were just 10-years-old at the time they entered Auschwitz in 1944, were initially spared death and instead became the subjects for numerous medical experiments, essentially being used as human guinea pigs.

On the first day of Groening’s trial, Kor made a bold move and reached out her hand to introduce herself to him. Kor believes the former SS guard should be held accountable for his actions, but also believes in forgiveness and the opportunity to educate others on the dark time in history.

“The strangest thing happened,” Kor recalled. “He was trying to say something as he was sitting sideways in his chair. He turned white and fell backwards, not saying a word. He was holding onto my arm so he did not hit the floor. At that moment he was not a Nazi but an old man who fainted and I was trying to save him from falling.”

But on another day during Groening’s trial, Kor made another attempt to reach out to him. Kor told Groening that she appreciated his willingness to come forward, to face what he did and the people whose lives were forever changed by his actions. Moreover, Kor wants Groening to appeal to today’s younger generations who still believe in the Nazi principles.

“You can tell them you were in Auschwitz, you were involved with the Nazi party, and it was a terrible thing,” she told Groening.

Kor was shaking Groening’s hand as she talked to him, but in an unexpected move, the former Nazi prison camp guard grabbed Kor, hugged her and gave her a kiss on the cheek.

“Well I probably wouldn’t have gone that far,” Kor said of the encounter. “But I guess it is better than what he would have done to me 70 years ago.”

[The Times of Israel]