Surviving the Angel of Death: The True Story of a Mengele Twin in Auschwitz
By Eva Mozes Kor and Lisa Rojany Buccieri
Our Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4 out of 5 stars)
Reviewed by: KaylaAnn S. Villanueva
Eva Kor’s autobiography reveals her and her Jewish family’s herding from Transylvania, Romania, to the Auschwitz death camp by Hungarian soldiers, and her and her twin sister’s survival under the treatment and attention of Dr. Josef Mengele (aka the Angel of Death).
At first, Eva and her family did not believe that anti-semitism (or hostility towards or prejudice against Jews) was on the rise, especially in their own village. Then came the ghettos and tents, then the transportation to Germany on overcrowded cattle cars, and then the chaotic mob of Jews, guards, and doctors on the concrete platform.
Dr. Mengele was a German Nazi doctor who helped select victims for the gas chambers, and accepted prisoners and identical twins as medical experiment guinea pigs for his “research.” He gave the twins tests and different injections, comparing their responses to each other’s. Eva’s stubbornness and protective spirit keep her and twin sister Miriam going, surviving horrors many others did not.
Despite his inhuman cruelty, and the horrifying conditions any of the prisoners must endure while living in a German concentration camp, Eva and Miriam are eventually liberated from Auschwitz. After all of their suffering, it was still hard for the girls to adjust to their freedom; trying to live life again after losing their parents and siblings to the gas chamber, not having a home to return to, and dealing with emotions and experiences many could not imagine – and that some in the world did not believe – took incredible strength.
This story is told through the eyes of Eva at the time of her experience. Surviving the Angel of Death is Eva’s memoir; it is not graphic nor an in-depth account of Dr. Mengele’s experiments. This novel introduces readers to a personal account of a Holocaust survivor, but lacks detailed information on Nazi medical tests and experimentations. Some aspects are vague and generalized, though that is in keeping with the young mind of Eva who did not know all of the background and motives affecting her surroundings at the time. Ms. Kor should be commended for revealing the truth about the atrocious treatment her family and her people endured. Eva Kor, who was a resident of Terre Haute, Indiana, passed away on July 24, 2019. You can find out more about Eva Kor and her legacy by using the following resources:
- Access GALE in Context High School via our library website. (Ask us at the Reference/Teen Zone desk if you need help!) It contains various content about Eva Kor.
Surviving the Angel of Death: The True Story of a Mengele Twin in Auschwitz is located in Teen Zone non-fiction section: History –> WWII –> Holocaust –> Kor (Currently shelved as a NEW book)