Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Forgiveness is a Choice

Eva Kor was the tender age of ten when she was marched into a cattle car along with her family and thrown into a Nazi concentration camp. Because she was a twin, she was of particular interest to Dr. Mengele, the infamous “angel of death.” She and her twin sister were subjected to medical experiments, stripped and left naked for hours, given injections of harmful substances, probed and measured. Almost three thousand twin children died as a result of the abuse, but Eva and her sister, along with 200 other children, were rescued by the Soviet army at the end of the war.

Following her sister’s death in 1993, Eva felt compelled to understand what had become of the other children in the camp with her. She was led to Dr. Hans Munch, who had been an experimental doctor in Auschwitz. She was surprised to find that he felt deep remorse for what he’d done, and she came to forgive him. This led to an arduous, soul-searching decision to also forgive Dr. Mengele.

I heard a profoundly moving interview with Eva, in which she stated that she realized that only she could set herself free from her tormented memories. And, the only way she could set herself free was by making a choice to forgive. This did not mean that she approved of what Dr. Mengele did, rather that she chose to let it go and go on with her life. She states that an incredible burden was lifted from her.

Today Eva Kor teaches forgiveness worldwide, and has inspired countless people. She is the founder of a Holocaust museum in Terre Haute, Indiana, which was set on fire by a hate monger in 2003. She has also received a great deal of criticism from people who claim she is letting Nazis off the hook. Isn’t it interesting that the ego would condemn Eva for choosing love?

Forgiveness is the central teaching in A Course in Miracles. The Course tells us that “forgiveness is the key to happiness and offers everything I want.” (W-121.h, 122.h)

If Eva can forgive someone like Dr. Mengele, then we can forgive our attackers. But how in the world do we do that when we’re filled with hatred or anger? How can it be as simple as a choice? This is where the Course helps us out, reminding us that “God is the love in which I forgive, and God is the strength in which I trust.” (W-46.h, 47.h) There is no way we can do this on our own. Our part is to make the decision to forgive, then turn it over to the Holy Spirit to do the rest. If we hold the intention, it will be done.

How long will you take to make the decision that will set you free? How about now?

Holding you in Love and Light and seeing you free, Lorri Coburn

There is a documentary film about Eva’s life and here is a link to a PBS report and video clip of her.

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