New Materials Available to Bolster Your Holocaust Unit

Surviving the Angel of Death: The True Story of a Mengele Twin in Auschwitz is the story of Eva Mozes Kor, who was a 10-year-old from Hungary when she and her family were sent by cattle car to Auschwitz. There, Eva and her twin sister, Miriam, were put into the care of Dr. Josef Mengele to undergo sadistic medical experiments, while the rest of their family was sent straight to the gas chambers from the selection platforms.

This story, appropriate for as young as fifth graders, conveys the horror of the camp – the dehumanization, the filth, the hunger, the constant threat of death and Eva’s fight to survive each and every day – without some of the more gruesome details found in other books. The responses of readers have confirmed that those details are not necessary to understand the enormity of Eva’s survival of Auschwitz. What makes this title most outstanding are the positive messages conveyed.

Eva’s first message to readers is one of hope and survival:  if she, as a child, could survive Auschwitz, then they can survive their own circumstances. In the book’s epilogue, she encourages readers to move past their own hurts, and she then challenges them to make the world a better place through working against bigotry, intolerance, and genocide.

Other things to note:

  • The text is written in a simple, clear manner.
  • Surviving the Angel of Death provides important context, from the larger picture of the rise of dictators and growth of anti-Semitism in Europe before the war, to the Communist control of Eastern Europe and mass immigration to Israel afterward.
  • Eva still speaks often at schools, at conferences on medicine and ethics, and at the CANDLES Holocaust museum she founded in her hometown. She inspires everyone, wherever she goes.

Click here to order the book. Class sets can be purchased on our Educator Resources page.

Want more resources to help include this survivor’s story in your curriculum? There’s a new educator’s guide available as well as more resources on the CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center‘s website. There is also a large discount for teachers purchasing copies for the classroom if bought through the publisher.

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