Sixty-seven Marian University students traveled to Terra Haute, Indiana to visit the CANDLES Holocaust Museum on September 30. Students heard Holocaust survivor and “Mengele Twin” Eva Kor speak about her and her twin sister’s horrific experiences in Auschwitz and learn about Eva’s path to forgiveness.
Eva Kor, an Auschwitz concentration camp survivor, founded the museum in an effort to educate people on the Holocaust, specifically on Dr. Josef Mengele’s experiments on twins. At Auschwitz, Kor and her twin sister, Miriam, were subjects in the infamous doctor’s experiments. CANDLES holds photos, posters, documents, and artifacts from Kor’s personal story.
The visit—which has been a part of the German program curriculum for several years—expanded to include two First-Year Seminar courses: Dr. Jodie Freeland’s course, “The Undiscovered Self” and Dr. Wendy Westphal’s course on collective memory, “Remember when? Memory, Monuments and Museums.”
The First-Year Seminar is a new addition to Marian University’s curriculum and is designed to give first-year students the chance to experience a small, discussion-based (seminar) classe that focuses on a specific area of inquiry during the student’s first semester on campus. Students in First-Year Seminar classes have the chance to engage in in-depth discussions surrounding an academic theme from their professor’s area of expertise and also have the chance to be involved in experiential learning events off-campus.
The students in Dr. Westphal’s collective memory course read Eva Kor’s memoire, Surviving the Angel of Death, but agreed unanimously that hearing Eva speak in person had a much greater impact on them.
“Our class has been learning about how societies remember. We have been focusing on memories of large events like World War II, The Holocaust, the Fall of the Berlin Wall, and 9/11 and examining the intersection of the personal and the collective memories,” Dr. Westphal said. “It was very important to me that students have the chance to hear Eva Kor speak in person about her experiences in the Holocaust. We are very fortunate to have her here in Indiana and willing to share her story with us.”