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Surviving the Angel of Death: The Story of a Mengele Twin in Auschwitz

4.13  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,727 Ratings  ·  304 Reviews
Eva Mozes Kor was 10 years old when she arrived in Auschwitz. While her parents and two older sisters were taken to the gas chambers, she and her twin, Miriam, were herded into the care of the man known as the Angel of Death, Dr. Josef Mengele. Mengele's twins were granted the privileges of keeping their own clothes and hair, but they were also subjected to sadistic medica ...more
Hardcover, 141 pages
Published October 14th 2009 by Tanglewood Press (first published 2009)
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Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

3.5 Stars

Surviving the Angel of Death is the true story of Eva Mozes and her twin sister Miriam and the place where they were raised . . .

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"At Auschwitz dying was so easy. Surviving was a fulltime job. We gave them our blood, our bodies, our pride, our dignity, and in turn, they let us live one more day."

Eva and Miriam began their life as normal as you or I . . .

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They were born to a middle-income family in Romania and were doted on
To fully understand how extraordinary Eva and Miriam's survival is, you must realize who Josef Mengele was. Josef Mengele was known for his experiments at Auschwitz and for being the one at all of the selections. He performed open-heart surgeries, often resulting in a very painful death. He conducted numerous experiments on mostly twins, dwarfs, the handicapped, giants, or anyone else with an abnormal trait. He purposely injected one twin with some disease, then compared the twins posthumously. ...more
I was a little worried when I picked up this book. Nazi experiments...children...just no. But something about it made me want to listen. Its a part of the camps we don't hear much about. And in this case, being a twin and therefore a "wanted prisoner" ultimately saved her life. Saved her, while so nearly killing her as well. Let's just say it bought her time. Time in which to fight for survival. And fight she did.

So how does one write a book about Nazi atrocities and make it suitable for YA? Som
Mike Mullin
Dec 12, 2010 Mike Mullin rated it it was amazing
I read the first 84 pages in one sitting, then stopped, gasping, to remind myself to breathe. The horrors of Auschwitz weren't the part of this book that most affected me. Instead it was the beginning, in which the Christian villagers slowly turned against Ms. Kor's family, and even her best friend, Luci, joined with the anti-Semites.

But the true genius of this book is the powerful epilogue. My words can't do it justice, so here are a few of Ms. Kor's, "Anger and hate are seeds that germinate wa
I've read a lot of memoirs in the last 10 years written by survivors of the holocaust. Shocking, haunting and enough to make your blood boil, these are unimaginable stories of loss, pain and heartbreak but also inspiring and motivating.

Surviving the Angel of Death is one of the few Holocaust books that I've read aimed primarily at a younger audience, but that doesn't make it any less shocking than accounts that are more adult-focused. In fact, being lived through the eyes of 10-year-old Eva is
Alex Baugh
Sep 08, 2011 Alex Baugh rated it really liked it
Shelves: world-war-2
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Katlynn Thompson
Nov 01, 2015 Katlynn Thompson rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
I recieved this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This book is phenomenal.

I actually put off reading this book a couple of times, mainly because I wasn't really in the mood for depressing subjects. Which was a pretty big mistake because while this is a memoir of an Auschwitz survivor, it is one of the most uplifting and inspirational books I've read in quite a while.

Eva Moses Kor along with her twin sister, witnessed true evil, barely managing to make it out alive. They w
May 12, 2014 Majanka rated it it was amazing
Book Review originally published here:

I requested a copy of Surviving the Angel of Death, even though I was worried I might not be able to stomach it. But considering the source material, considering this is a real life account of what atrocities happened during World War I, I felt like I just had to read this. I’m glad I did.

Surviving the Angel of Death is a horrifying book. Some of the stories detailed in here…they made me squirm, made my stomach turn u
I like the way this book is written in the first person, through the eyes of Eva, as a ten year old. It provides an insight into the torment of those tortured young people. It is a fitting record of what must be one of the worst acts of genocide.

Although this is a short volume, it certainly packs a punch. During the early pages, the way the twins and their parents had so much trust.

"Are they twins?" he asked Mama. She hesitated. "Is that good?" "Yes", said the guard. "They are tins," replied Ma
Dita Murinová
Wow. Tohle byla celkem síla. Přečteno v jednom sezení, slza uroněna. Pořád tak nějak nechápu, jak to mohlo těm lidem procházet. Snad už se něco takového nikdy nestane. Must read pro všechny, kterým to není jedno. I když je to už za námi.

Recenzi si můžete přečíst tadyk.
Ich klammerte mich an Mamas Hand. Ein SS-Mann rannte vor uns entlang. Er rief auf Deutsch: „Zwillinge! Zwillinge!“ Er stürzte vorbei, blieb dann stehen, kehrte auf dem Absatz um und kam dann zurück. Er baute sich vor uns auf. Seine Augen wanderten zwischen Miriams und meinem Gesicht hin und her und musterten unsere gleich geschnittenen weinroten Kleider. „Sind das Zwillinge?“, fragte er Mama. Sie zögerte. „Ist das gut?“ „Ja.“, sagte der Wachmann. „Sie sind Zwillinge“, antwortete Mama. Ohne ein w ...more
Jan 19, 2011 Malissa rated it it was amazing
This is the true story (told in the 1st person) of Eva Mozes Kor who, along with her sister, was one of the many twins that Dr. Joseph Mengele used for experimentation purposes in Auschwitz. There were several things that I especially liked about this book. It's obviously a horrible story, but it's told here in a way that I think kids as young as jr. high could handle and be interested in. I also really, really liked that the story continued past the liberation of Auschwitz and ended when Eva an ...more
Danielle Stoll
Mar 25, 2013 Danielle Stoll rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Danielle by: Eva Kor
Potential spoilers

Eva Kor witness crimes against humanity while simultaneously being a victim of some of those same crimes. She and her twin sister Miriam kept each other alive at Auschwitz-Birkenau as they suffered humiliation, degradation, hunger pains, illness, dysentery, and more, most of which resulted not just from simply being concentration camp prisoners, but from being human test subjects to Dr. Josef Mengele. At 141 pages, this short-lived book is a first-person account from Eva Kor ab
Ashley Ziemer
Oct 30, 2012 Ashley Ziemer rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2012
Eva Mozes Kor and her sister are Jewish twins, which means two things: one, they are destined to be shipped off like cattle to a Nazi camp, and two, they will become living experiments for the "Angel of Death." At just ten years of age, Eva must endure and survive the unthinkable all the while protecting her twin. Her story is amazingly horrific. The book depicts Eva's life just prior to being rounded up and shipped off to Auschwitz, her time of experimentation under Dr. Josef Mengele (the Angel ...more
Krista (CubicleBlindness Reviews)
This story reminded me a lot of Night by Elie Wiesel it was a very short story of this particular author's memories of what happened to her and her sister during the war. It is of course a little less detailed and horrific as the book Night was. This book would be a good addition to school libraries and classrooms to help lead discussions on the war and what the people experienced above and beyond what most classrooms see through the story of Anne Frank.
Eva and her twin sister are the focus of
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Theresa L. Stowell for

When twins Eva and Miriam Mozes were ten years old, the Nazis invaded their home in Romania and forced their family onto a train that would take them to the Auschwitz concentration camp.

When they got off the train, their family became separated. They never knew what happened to their father and two older sisters, Aliz and Edit. Their mother, in a desperate attempt to save her youngest daughters, answered "Is that good?" after a soldier asked if
Danii Anderson
Jan 08, 2013 Danii Anderson rated it it was amazing
This book was very well written based on the descriptions given. I think that you can really visualize all of the disturbing events, but it's still so interesting that you can't stop reading. The ways the author described everything was like i was there myself. The fact that she is writing about herself makes it that much more spine-chilling. Those tests given to all these twins make me cringe but then again they do treat them better, not much, but better than the rest. They actually wanted to
Rachel Vance
Mar 28, 2011 Rachel Vance rated it it was amazing
This book tells the horrific experiences of Eva and Miriam Mozes during their time in the Nazi concentration camps. Eva and Miriam are only 10 years old when their family is arrested and placed in a cattle car with only room to stand, no food, no water, and barbed wire on the tiny windows. At the end of the train ride they are relieved until they see where they've arrived, the Auschwitz concentration camp. They are immediately ripped from the father, mother, and sisters, never to see them again, ...more
Surviving the Angel of Death became a favourite book of mine the minute I began reading. Most of the historical memoirs I’ve read are lengthy, require background knowledge and overwrought. Surviving the Angel of Death is written in a simple, beautiful manner (I don’t believe I had to look up a single book in a dictionary; a vast contrast to most other books) and only focuses on the facts with small emotive icons. The other thing I loved was how informative the book was, and somebody with little ...more
Apr 10, 2013 Bridget rated it really liked it
Recommended to Bridget by: Melody
Shelves: ya, 2013
I dearly wish my adolescent self could have read this book. I was very interested in WWII as a kid and I read anything I could get my hands on, which meant that sometimes I read stuff that was way above my level. This book is written for a YA audience and it somehow manages to tell a truly harrowing story - about horrible things that happened to a CHILD, which is especially affecting - in a completely YA-appropriate way.

I was worried that I would be haunted by what happens in this book, but inst
Jun 14, 2015 Kerri rated it really liked it
This book tells the story of the experiments that took place on twins in Auschwitz which is something you don't hear much about. It was shocking, but not too graphic as it is cut down for younger readers, and leaves you thinking about it long after you've finished.
Ken Kugler
Jul 26, 2009 Ken Kugler rated it liked it
Having read many books on the holocaust I can say that this book would make a good story for a younger reader. That being said, I would also say that Eva Mozews, the "twin" in the title is not a strong story teller. She does a very good job of conveying her tale but there are too many parts that seem thin. Maybe it is the amount of time that has gone by or the wish not to go too deeply into her memories. It might also be because she does not want to shock the intended audience too much.
If you k
Andrea Galbusieri
Jun 28, 2015 Andrea Galbusieri rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2015
I would never dare rate an experience such as Eva Mozes Kor's; the 3 star rating is for omission rather than content. Judging by the title, I thought there would be much more information about Mengele and his staff and their interaction with the twins.
I was unaware at first that this was a book for young adults and, thus, was a little disappointed in the writing. In hindsight, however, I think the book is very appropriate for young adults and can easily be read by younger teens as well, giving
Jul 27, 2014 Marjorie rated it it was amazing
Given To Me For An Honest Review

This book is about the Holocaust and what happened in Auschwitz. Josepf Mengele experimented with many of the prisoners there. He was very interested in twins. Eva and her sister were subjected to these experiments because they were twins. It was a great book. One that children who are studying about that time in history should include in their studies. It is not as graphic as many other books but it does the job of telling the story.
I highly recommend this book t
Dec 29, 2015 Monserrat rated it really liked it
Eva and her sister were used in experiments so that Germans could figure out how to replicate the "perfect race" in multiple numbers, also to find out cures for other infections, and possibly to figure out how to change people's gender. They were one pair of many twins used. They were given "special" treatment but they still starved, lived in horrendous conditions and lost most of their family just because they practiced a particular type of religion.

Whenever I read this type of book, it's a ve
I cannot rate a non-fiction book this honest and painful and eye-opening at less than five stars. I can't. The history that Eva relays to the reader is important for everyone to know, as are all testimonies of the Holocaust.

However, the execution of the book leaves something to be desired. The language is simple and straightforward to the point of almost being stilted. I do not know if this is a result of it being a transcript of Eva's actual words, but I think it could have been expressed in s
Fiona Mccormick
Sep 18, 2015 Fiona Mccormick rated it it was amazing
Thank you to Netgalley for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This is an extraordinary glimpse into the life of survivors of the Holocaust. It is written in the voice of Eva who, along with her twin sister Miriam, was experimented on by Joseph Mengele - The Angel of Death - in Auschwitz during the second world war. Both sisters survived the horrors of the death camp and lived to tell their story.
I didn't realise this was aimed at young adults before I read it, but it
Christina Sesok
I read this book after traveling to Auschwitz-Birkenau with the author. I didn't read the book beforehand, I wanted to experience Eva firsthand before reading what she had to say. Her story is amazing. At the age of 10, her family was taken from their small village in Hungary-occupied Romania, Portz, to Auschwitz. While her family was taken to the gas chambers immediately, Eva and her sister, Miriam, were taken to Dr. Mengele. There, they were subjected to horrible experiments. Eva became gravel ...more
Feb 24, 2015 Renata rated it liked it
The atrocities of the Holocaust should never be forgotten. This novel of the life and experiences of an Auschwitz/ Dr. Mengele survivor is a fascinating recounting of her experiences. It is written with a younger target audience in mind and would be a good introduction to this subject. The majority of the tale focuses on the author's 10 year old self, and Eva is an industrious, intelligent young girl.

The novel reads as if you are speaking to someone about their memories. There is no real concep
Dec 05, 2014 Susan rated it it was amazing
This book is a biography of a pair of identical twins that starts in the village of Portz in Transylvania (Romania). as the only Jewish family in this village, Eva and Miriam live in relative innocence with their parents and two older sisters. When two new teachers come with nazi textbooks, the twins are called "dirty Jews." They beg their parents not to go to school, but to no avail. The father tries to find passage to Israel to live but are too late. The whole family is gathered up and taken t ...more
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The identical twins Eva Mozes Kor and Miriam Mozes survived the deadly genetic experiments conducted by The Angel of Death, Josef Mengele, in Auschwitz. Their parents, grandparents, two older sisters, uncles, aunts, and cousins were killed ..

The sisters were put through many extremely brutal surgeries and experiments by Mengele, who experimented mainly on twins. Eva later recalled:

"I was given fiv
More about Eva Mozes Kor...

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“At Auschwitz dying was so easy. Surviving was a full time job.” 5 likes
“Every night I had nightmares. I dreamed of rats the size of cats, dead bodies, and needles stuck into me. After we found out that the Nazi's had made soup out of Jewish fat, I dreamed that soap bars spoke to me in the voices of my parents and sisters, asking me, "Why are you washing with us?” 3 likes
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