Eva Kor

Ted Green lives and works in Indianapolis; initially a print journalist, he’s been a television documentary producer since 2010.

Green had never heard of Holocaust survivor Eva Kor when a friend persuaded him to attend a Butler University Diversity Lecture program on Oct. 22, 2015, where Kor spoke.

Kor’s story would eventually compel Green to make a film about her, a project that also included Terre-Haute-based videographer Mika Brown.

At the age of 10, Kor was taken from her home in Port, Romana where she was born in 1934. She was herded onto a train and deposited into the Auschwitz death camp.

Separated from her parents and older sisters, clinging only to her twin sister Miriam and tattooed with the number A-7063, Kor survived medical experiments by the notorious Dr. Mengele at Auschwitz. Both she and her sister Miriam survived the death camps as orphans.

Kor became an American citizen in 1965, she married and raised two children. In 1984 she formed the support group CANDLES: Children of Auschwitz Nazi Deadly Lab Experiment Survivors.  

In 1995 she founded the CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Terre Haute. Destroyed by an arsonist in 2003, the museum was rebuilt and reopened in 2005, aided by an outpouring of public support.

In 2015, she embraced the 93-year-old former Nazi, Oskar Gröning at his trial in Germany. She thanked Gröning for his willingness, at age 93, to testify about the genocide he was complicit in more than 70 years ago.

Green and Brown were taken by Kor’s remarkable story and pitched documentary ideas to WFYI Public Media separately at various times. Eventually, WFYI connected the two filmmakers and became involved in the production of what would ultimately become an expansive documentary.

It is not a story Eva Mozes Kor initially felt comfortable sharing. The filmmakers were asking her to recall the most difficult part of her life. While previous documentaries on Eva Kor touch on Auschwitz-Birkenau Death Camp and/or the mid-life healing leading to activism, Ted and Mika recognized Eva’s story is many stories from Romania in 1934 to Terre Haute in 1980 and forward to now.

"I needed to understand where Eva's capacity to touch us so deeply came,” said Green.

Starting in 2015, with a small grant, Kor, Green and Brown began their two-year, 80,000 mile world-wide journey, going back to where the Mozes family lived in the rural community of Port, Romania, until the Nazi deportations began.

Eventually award-winning actor Ed Asner came on board to narrate the documentary. Dozens of people from all walks of life and locations added their thoughts on camera.

Eva: A-7063, which won the Chagrin Documentary Film Festival in early October, follows Kor on her journeys through Indiana and through Europe, advocating for forgiveness, but not forgetting.

Her message is straightforward: “Everyone has the power to do something good. That capacity can change yourself and others.”

This message, says Green, has reverberated with many people she has talked to.

Not only do they feel healed but they are motivated to go out and help others," he says. “She is not about forgetting. Exactly the opposite. She has dedicated her life so that people remember. She became free and moved on.”

If you missed the opportunity to see the documentary at the Heartland Film Festival, you can watch it when it airs this week, Oct. 25, on WFYI.

You can learn more about Eva Kor and the documentary at the film's website.