In March of 1944, at age 10, little Eva was arrested with her entire family, including her twin sister, Miriam, for the "crime" of being Jewish.
Nazis loaded Eva and her family into a cattle car with other men, women, and children headed to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. Within moments of their arrival, the twins lost their entire family to the gas chambers without a chance to say goodbye. Because twins were considered valuable for research, the girls were spared immediate death by Josef Mengele, the Nazi doctor and war criminal, in favor of experimentation and torture.
This stunning, heartbreaking illustrated biography tells the story of a tenacious girl's fight to survive a horrific childhood ravaged by tragedy; her growing anger as an adult who settled in Terre Haute, Indiana; and her eventual discovery that forgiveness might just save her life.
The art is detailed and conveys the terror, grief and fear of the Nazis' victims as well as the depravity of the Nazis themselves. The simple black and white drawings suggest an old movie or a nightmare. Most of the illustrations in the first part of the book are very dark, some with large areas of solid black, especially the illustration of Hitler. This is contrasted by the illustrations in the last part of the book, which have more white space, and many more curves as opposed to the sharp lines and angles of the first section. Readers who enjoyed Art Spiegelman's "Maus," and more recently George Takei's "They Called Us Enemy" or Marjane Satrapi's "Persepolis," will also appreciate this book.-- Rebecca Bennett ― Austin American-Statesman
This passionately told graphic biography delves into the horrors of the Holocaust twin experiments conducted by Joseph Mengele. . . . [Lee's] 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.― Publishers Weekly
Lee's insightful narrative moves us boldly, compellingly, across a century of political and economic turmoil, compelling us to flip back to page one with its stark enumeration of devastation and death of sixteen million. . . . Anyone who hasn't been living under a rock knows about Eva Kor and her journey to be at one with herself through the strength of forgiveness. Lee gets it manifestly right.-- Rita Kohn ― NUVO
Every personal, community, college, and university library Holocaust Studies and 20th Century Jewish Biography collection should include a copy of Forgiveness: The Story of Eva Kor, Survivor of The Auschwitz Twin Experiments.― Midwest Book Review
[Lee's] drawings provide visual recreations of scenes that Kor described. Lee turned her words into depictions of the heartbreaking, gut-wrenching moments the Jewish people suffered during the Holocaust. . . . As a graphic novel, Lee's paperback tells the story through the eyes of a child "who suffered only because she was Jewish." Lee condenses the saga into a digestible 120 pages with vivid illustrations and captivating storytelling.-- Mark Bennett ― Herald-Times
Prolific author, illustrator and cartoonist Joe Lee has produced the work he was born to create. It's a triumph of both art and the spirit, exploring the remarkable life of Eva Kor. Harrowing and inspiring, Forgiveness will reach a wide audience hungry to navigate a path out of our current cultural paralysis.-- Jim Poyser, author of The Last Actor and Other Stories
Joe Lee is a cartoonist, illustrator, writer, and former circus clown. He is the author/illustrator of books on clowns, Dante, and Greek mythology; editorial cartoonist for the Bloomington Herald-Times; and staff illustrator for Our Brown County Magazine. His latest large work is the LeGrande Circus & Sideshow Tarot for US Games. Lee is a graduate of Indiana University and is currently based in Bloomington, Indiana.