Alex&MickeyKor.Purdue vs Louisville

Holocaust survivor Mickey Kor, right, and son Alex were able to attend Purdue University’s football game against the University of Louisville two Saturdays ago in Indianapolis, and here’s what’s remarkable about it: as soon as liberation came after World War II, Mickey made his way to Israel, met and married a fellow survivor named Eva Mozes, and settled with her in Terre Haute, Indiana, where he immediately enrolled in Purdue’s renowned School of Pharmacy. Until a year or so ago, he never missed a Purdue football or basketball game. But he and Eva are 90 years old now, and his health declined enough that he had to move to an assisted living center. It has done him enough good that he’s been able to move to a lower level of care and regain some independence. Alex swung into action and took his dad to Purdue’s football season opener, where they greeted longtime friends and fans. Eva Kor is well-known around the world among students of the Holocaust; she founded a museum devoted to telling the story of Adolf Mengele’s monstrous “medical” experiments on twins, and developed a coping strategy of radical forgiveness, which she teaches to audiences of all ages. If she can forgive the Nazis who killed her parents (and ultimately her twin sister), she can teach us to forgive our demons, too, in documentary films, videos, speeches and media appearances. Mickey has always been far more reticent about discussing what he and his family went through – and their children did not want to be known as “those Holocaust kids” in smalltown Indiana. They have followed their own paths to wellness and integrity. Alex knew that the best thing he could do for his dad was to take him to a ballgame, just as Alex sometimes accompanies his mother back to Auschwitz to lead tours and tell her stories. Forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting, but it does enable us to find our way back to joy. (Dave Bangert/Lafayette Journal and Courier, 2017)

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