Jump directly to the Content
Jump directly to the Content

Sermon Illustrations

Home > Sermon Illustrations

How Can One Thank a Nazi Doctor?

Eva Kor and her sister Miriam were the subjects of horrific experiments at the hands of Josef Mengele at the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II. In 1995, Eva returned to Auschwitz for the 50th anniversary of their liberation. She asked Dr. Hans Munch (who signed death certificates at the camp) to join them and sign an affidavit acknowledging what happened. Dr. Munch agreed.

Eva explains what happened afterwards:

I was so glad that I would have an original document witnessed and signed by a Nazi … to add to the historical collection of information we were preserving for ourselves and for future generations. I was so grateful that Dr. Munch was willing to come with me to Auschwitz and sign that document about the operation of the gas chambers, and I wanted to thank him. But how can one thank a Nazi doctor?

For ten months I pondered this question. All kinds of ideas popped into my head until I finally thought, how about a simple letter of forgiveness from me to him? Forgiving him for all that he has done? I knew immediately that he would appreciate it, but what I discovered once I made the decision was that forgiveness is not so much for the perpetrator, but for the victim. I had the power to forgive. No one could give me this power, and no one could take it away. That made me feel powerful. It made me feel good to have any power over my life as a survivor.

In an interview before her death, Eva shared: “If I had discovered forgiveness sooner, I would have had that 50 years of my life back. Forgive. See the miracle that can happen.”

Related Sermon Illustrations

Resentment that Meditation Can't Heal

Mike Love, 74, is one of the original members of the Beach Boys, known for his contribution to such hits as "California Girls," "Help Me Rhonda," "I Get Around," and others. But according ...

[Read More]

Ordinary Missionary Honored in India for Her Forgiveness

Vishal Mangalwadi, a Christian leader from India, writes movingly of the impact that Gladys Stains had on his nation. Gladys and her husband, Graham, and their sons, had devoted their ...

[Read More]