Holocaust survivor Eva Kor, who championed forgiveness even for those who carried out the Holocaust atrocities, died Thursday during an overseas trip for a museum she founded in Indiana, museum officials said.
Kor was in Krakow, Poland, for an annual educational trip, according to the CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Terre Haute. She was 85.
Kor was a Jewish native of Romania who was sent in 1944 to the Auschwitz concentration camp, where most of her family was killed. She and her twin sister survived, but they were subjected to inhumane medical experiments.
She later moved to Terre Haute where she lived for over three decades, raising a family and working in real estate. In 1985, she founded CANDLES, or Children of Auschwitz Nazi Deadly Lab Experiments Survivors. Kor's sister Miriam Zeiger died in 1993 of cancer.
Kor he spoke all over the world, wrote an autobiography and appeared in multiple documentaries, sharing her story and message of forgiveness.
"The themes of Eva's life are apparent. We can overcome hardship and tragedy. Forgiveness can help us to heal," a museum statement said. "And everyone has the power and responsibility to make this world a better place."
Museum officials said the Indiana center will be closed until Tuesday in honor of Kor's memory.
In 2017, Kor was named as a recipient of the Sachem Award, which is Indiana's highest honor.
Gov. Eric Holcomb said the "world lost a giant."
"Everywhere she went, Eva brought light into darkness and provided comfort to those in pain unlike anyone we've ever met," he said in a statement.
A public memorial service is planned.