Make A Difference: Eva Kor and the CANDLES Holocaust Museum

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – Someone very wise once said “Forgiveness creates a feeling of wholeness. It is freedom for the spirit.”

Well, that person is this month’s “Make a Difference” winner and in fact, she and her entire staff at the CANDLES Holocaust Museum in Terre Haute are helping to shape young people’s lives and teach all of us about a horrific time in history.

On the outside, the museum is just a brick building along U.S. Highway 41 in. But inside, you’ll find hundreds of young people intently listening to living history.

On one particular day, there are 160 students from Newton and Charleston, Illinois getting a firsthand look at the Holocaust, from survivor – Eva Kor.

And thankfully, the students let us interrupt their field trip with a surprise.

“On behalf of WTHI and Williams Brothers Pharmacies in Vincennes, we would like to present to Eva and the entire staff the Make a Difference award for all you do for the kids and for teaching all of us the importance of forgiveness…congratulations!”

“When you do the right thing you are rewarded like Channel 10 bringing us this award,” Eva jokingly said.

Eva Kor has been telling young people to “do the right thing” for the last 38 years. In fact, more than 7,000 students visit the CANDLES Holocaust Museum each year – all to hear Eva’s amazing story of survival and forgiveness.

As you may already know, Eva was only 10-years-old when she and her twin sister Miriam were taken prisoner by Nazis. They were thrown in a concentration camp in Auschwitz subject to horrific Nazi experiments, injections and testing.

But her journey is now more about forgiveness. Teaching young people that if she can survive a difficult time, so can they.

“To give any young person who is so unsure of them self an ability to look at themselves and realize that they can make something of their life…” Eva said.

The museum walks visitors through that journey from Auschwitz to forgiveness.

95-year-old museum volunteer, Walter Sommers, walked us through his experiences. Walter says he is a witness to the beginning of the Holocaust.

He was only 18-years-old on November 9, 1938 when 30,000 Jewish men were arrested and sent to concentration camps.

One of those men was his father.

“I’ve been a student of the Holocaust, a student of history for many years and I was impressed with the work Eva Kor was doing,” he told us.

We are all impressed with the work of Eva Kor and her staff at the museum. It is truly an educational gem in the Wabash Valley, inside and out. And, on April 30, the CANDLES Museum will celebrate 21 years – that anniversary is in conjunction with national Holocaust Remembrance Day.

If you know someone who you want to nominate for a Make a Difference Award, check out this link to fill out the form. And, if you want to learn more about the CANDLES Holocaust Museum, check out their website!

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