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Human rights champion and Holocaust survivor Eva Kor dies at 85

Auschwitz survivor Eva Kor. Source: AAP

A survivor of experiments by the infamous Nazi doctor Josef Mengele during the Holocaust, Eva Kor, has died at 85 after a lifetime of forgiveness.

Holocaust survivor Eva Kor, a human rights champion who endured medical experimentation at the Auschwitz concentration camp, has died at the age of 85.

The CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Centre - which Kor founded in Indiana where she'd made her home - announced that she "passed peacefully" during an annual trip to Krakow, Poland.

"Eva Kor has touched hundreds of thousands of people over her 85 years through her message of overcoming tragedy, finding forgiveness, and healing," the museum said in a statement. "Surviving the Holocaust at age 10 meant that Eva emerged from a childhood full of fear, loss, grief, and displacement."

Kor and her twin sister, Miriam, were the sole survivors of their family after losing their mother, father and two older sisters on the selection platform at Auschwitz, according to the museum.

The girls were among some 1,500 sets of twins who were subjected to horrendous genetic experiments by Nazi doctor Josef Mengele during World War II.

Most of those 3,000 children died as a result of the experiments.

After the war, Kor joined the Israeli army and later moved to the US with her husband, a fellow Holocaust survivor.

She later became a forgiveness activist, describing in speeches around the world how forgiveness helped her heal from pain, trauma and tragedy.

Polish immigrant Eva Mozes Kor is shown at the C.A.N.D.L.E.S. Museum in Terre Haute.
Polish immigrant Eva Mozes Kor is shown at the C.A.N.D.L.E.S. Museum in Terre Haute.
The Tribune-Star

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb released a statement on Thursday.

"Everywhere she went, Eva brought light into darkness & provided comfort to those in pain unlike anyone we've ever met," he wrote.

"From her against all odds survival as a young girl in Auschwitz to her peace spreading message based from home in Terre Haute, Indiana, her relentless and optimistic example inspired the world. Her angelic spirit will live on in the countless souls she saved from ongoing confusion and torment."

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