A survivor of the Holocaust who has devoted her life to assuring the atrocities she and her twin sister lived through during World War II wouldn’t happen again has been honored as the 12th recipient of the Sachem Award. The governor-selected distinction is designed "to underscore the importance of moral example; achievement alone without exemplary virtue does not qualify a person for this recognition." During a ceremony Thursday at the Indiana War Memorial in Indianapolis, Eva Mozes Kor was recognized for her global message of preventing prejudice and hatred through her work that includes launching CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Terre Haute.

Governor Eric Holcomb called Mozes Kor "the living embodiment of true compassion" and said her impact throughout the world and the state puts her in "a category onto herself." Holcomb described the time Mozes Kor met with Hans Münch, a NAZI physician at the concentration camp in Auschwitz, and convinced Münch to testify on the existence of concentration camps. "It served as a powerful rebuke to Holocaust deniers all over the world," Holcomb said. "Because of the importance of this act, Eva wanted to give him a gift, but she struggled over what gift it should be. Then she had a revelation. She would write him a letter. A letter of forgiveness." Holcomb then talked about the power of forgiveness and how the letter changed her life by lifting the 50 years of pain and anger from her shoulders.

Mozes Kor opened CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Terre Haute in 1995. It was destroyed by an arsonist in 2003 and stands today after being rebuilt in 2005. You can connect to more about Mozes Kor and the museum at the center’s website.