NAZI MEDICAL EXPERIMENTS
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. http://www.pbs.org/wnet/religionandethics/week1046/profile.html#
FORGIVENESS OF GENOCIDE
Your older brother, your dearest friend and hero, has his head chopped open with an ax. Marauders laugh gleefully, joking that now they get to see what the brains of someone with a Master's degree look like.
You quake in terror as you hear the murderers chant, "Kill them big, Kill them small, Kill them, kill them, Kill them all!" Almost all your parents and friends are slaughtered—not by strangers but by your own friends and neighbors.
Can you forgive?
Forgive is what Immaculée Ilibagiza did—had to do—if she was to live with any sense of peace after the 1994 Rwandan genocide that left one million people dead in three months. Immaculée shares her journey in Left to Tell, a gripping page-turner that will make you cry, drop your jaw in horror, and break your heart wide open with the power of God's love.
Immaculée is living proof that forgiveness, which is the central teaching in A Course in Miracles, works even in the most brutal circumstances. (Non-dualisitic Course students, see note at end.) While she hid in a tiny room for three months, she found that she gained a semblance of peace when she prayed. At other times Immaculée welled up with a rage and revenge she didn't know was in her.
The breaking point came when she heard a baby crying all night long, dogs snarling nearby, until the cries became whimpers, then silence. She knew she should forgive, but just couldn't forgive anyone who would hurt and leave a child to die. She prayed for God to open her heart and writes, "I heard His answer as clearly as if we'd been sitting in the same room chatting: "You are all my children...and the baby is with Me now.'" She realized that, "The killers were like children. Their minds had been infected with the evil that had spread across the country, but their souls weren't evil."
Immaculée illustrates this suggestion in A Course in Miracles: To all that speaks of terror, answer thus: I will forgive and this will disappear. To every form of suffering, repeat these selfsame words. And then you hold the key that opens Heaven's gate...(W-p.I.193.13:2-5).
With determined intention to let God help her forgive, Immaculée succeeded. She writes, "While horror swirled around me, I found refuge in a world that became more welcoming and wonderful with each visit." This is the real world and the peace that the Course promises us when we choose to forgive. Can you—will you—receive it?
Blessings, Lorri Coburn
(Note: ACIM states that all illusions are the same, therefore one can be forgiven as easily as the next. From this earthly level, however, the murder of one's beloved appears to be harder than something minor. Immaculée proves the Course's opening line, There is no order of difficulty in miracles (T-1.1:1). Left to Tell is written from the place of forgiving what the murderers did, while ACIM states that ultimate forgiveness forgives what was never done, since it was just a dream.)