The Twins of Auschwitz

The Twins of Auschwitz
August 6th 2020
January 15, 2023 January 16, 2023
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The Nazis spared their lives because they were twins.

In the summer of 1944, Eva Mozes Kor and her family arrived at Auschwitz.

Within thirty minutes, they were separated. Her parents and two older sisters were taken to the gas chambers, while Eva and her twin, Miriam, were herded into the care of the man who became known as the Angel of Death: Dr. Josef Mengele. They were 10 years old.

While twins at Auschwitz were granted the 'privileges' of keeping their own clothes and hair, they were also subjected to Mengele's sadistic medical experiments. They were forced to fight daily for their own survival and many died as a result of the experiments, or from the disease and hunger rife in the concentration camp.

In a narrative told simply, with emotion and astonishing restraint, The Twins of Auschwitz shares the inspirational story of a child's endurance and survival in the face of truly extraordinary evil.

Also included is an epilogue on Eva's incredible recovery and her remarkable decision to publicly forgive the Nazis. Through her museum and her lectures, she dedicated her life to giving testimony on the Holocaust, providing a message of hope for people who have suffered, and worked toward goals of forgiveness, peace, and the elimination of hatred and prejudice in the world.

About the book

The twins of Auschwitz is a memoir of the events of Eva and her twin, Miriam, before and after their arrival at the concentration camp.

What I think

I like reading books dedicated to the Holocaust in this period (I’m writing January 16, 2023) and trying to understand how this horror could have happened in Europe. But I haven’t found an answer yet and I don’t think there is much “to understand”.

Evaluating a person’s memories doesn’t seem right to me. How can I give less than five stars to a person’s lived life? I can rate the structure of the book, the language used, often a translation so I can’t rate the language either, but I can’t rate the story in this case.

What I can say is that this book as well as many other books must be compulsory in schools all over the world. We in Italy have/had survivors, but have we studied their books? No. Have we read Primo Levi? Honestly before starting to read by myself, I didn’t even know that he was Italian! Schools need these readings alongside the Betrothed and Dante, it is right that we study them, they are the pillar of Italian literature (of course I’m talking about Italian writers, every country has their own writers to study), but what do Dante and Manzoni teach us? Is it better to remember the ‘600 plague or the extermination of human lives by other humans (even if you can’t call them humans) that happened not even 100 years earlier? We didn’t even learn anything about the “extermination” of human lives done by the plague (see pandemic 2020 even though this is not really the purpose of the Betrothed), there is only to be hoped that future generations will learn something from the extermination of the Jews.

I liked Eva’s solution of forgiving. I understood it and I understand above all those who understand it, but don’t share it. Forgiveness is a personal fact and it doesn’t mean that if I forgive a certain fact, others must do, too. And above all, it doesn’t mean that if I forgive, I don’t want to see a criminal go to trial.

Anger is a seed for war. Forgiveness is a seed for peace.

I like this sentence. I should take note of it and be able to put it to use even for small things.

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