cover image Forgiveness: The Story of Eva Kor, Survivor of the Auschwitz Twin Experiments

Forgiveness: The Story of Eva Kor, Survivor of the Auschwitz Twin Experiments

Joe Lee. Red Lightning, $20 trade paper (136p) ISBN 978-1-68435-178-7

This passionately told graphic biography delves into the horrors of the Holocaust twin experiments conducted by Joseph Mengele. After speeding through the Nazis’ rise to power, the narrative focuses on headstrong Eva Mozes Kor (1934–2019), arrested by Nazis with her Transylvanian family at age 10. At Auschwitz-Birkenau, Eva and her twin sister Miriam are separated from their parents and subjected to torturous medical trials by Auschwitz’s “Angel of Death.” Framed for readers who may not be deeply familiar with the Holocaust, the treatment covers basic WWII history, along with Eva and Miriam’s profound inner strength. “Dying in Auschwitz was easy,” the adult Eva recalls later; “surviving was a full-time job.” The narrative continues beyond the war to follow Eva as she emigrates to Israel and then the U.S., copes with PTSD, and ultimately founds the CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center. Her healing process includes writing letters and pronouncing forgiveness to her Nazi tormentors, with her motto that “each of us has a part to play in repairing our world.” Lee’s densely lined drawings show the influence of modernist art and caricature, recalling classic picture-book art, though they are sometimes cramped and blocky. But his dedication to translating Eva’s message to comics results in a memorable work that joins a growing chorus of graphic biographies of the Holocaust, one of a survivor speaking out against cruelty and complacency. (Oct.)