CANDLES is an acronym for Children of Auschwitz Nazi Deadly Lab Experiments Survivors. CANDLES was founded in 1995 by Eva Mozes Kor who, as a twin, survived the genetic experiments of Dr. Josef Mengele in the Auschwitz Concentration Camp.
Beginning the fall of 1943, twins were carefully culled from the arriving groups at Auschwitz and were used in experiments which were under the direction of Dr. Josef Mengele. Approximately 1500 sets of twins or 3000 children were used as human guinea pigs in the experiments. On January 27, 1945, when Auschwitz was liberated by the advancing Soviet army, only about 200 children were found alive. Most of these children were Mengele twins.
Once in the camp, the twins were housed together in barracks, girls 1-13, boys 1-13. Three days a week, the children were taken to a lab in Birkenau where blood was drawn and they received injections of many unknown germs. One twin was the "guinea pig"; the other the control. If one twin died, the control twin was killed with an injection into the heart and comparative autopsies were done. Three days a week they were marched to Auschwitz I, placed in a large room, and forced to stand or sit naked for six to eight hours. Every part of their bodies were measured, compared to charts and each other.
In 1978, after the "Holocaust" show aired on NBC, Eva Mozes Kor began to wonder what had happened to the children in the liberation pictures. How did their lives turn out? How has the trauma of Auschwitz and the experiments affected their lives? She searched for six long years. With the help of her sister, Miriam Mozes Zeiger, who lived in Israel and is now deceased. Kor founded CANDLES in 1984. The Mozes twins located 122 individual survivors of Dr. Mengele's experiments across ten countries and four continents.
The CANDLES Museum is dedicated to telling the story of the Holocaust and the stories of the Auschwitz twins. We need to note that the Mengele Twins are still searching for their Auschwitz files.
Visitors to the Museum are given a personalized tour and have the opportunity to ask questions and/or wander throughout the museum viewing the many displays. It also serves as a resource center for teachers and provides tours for schools and groups.
CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center shines a light on the story of the Holocaust and Eva Kor, to create an empowered community of critical thinkers who will illuminate the world with hope, healing, respect, and responsibility.
CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center is the only organization in the world dedicated to the memory of the twin victims and survivors of medical experimentation at Auschwitz. We honor and celebrate the lives of the Mengele Twins by telling their stories, to educate the world and prevent similar atrocities. Our institution is not only a witness to history, but also an active voice outside the museum walls. By working to prevent genocide on a global level and transform prejudice on a local level, we aim to create a world free from hatred and genocide.
The Eternal Light Award
"The light of one single candle can illuminate the darkness of the entire universe."
Each year, CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center awards a person or group of people for outstanding service to our organization and its mission. We are very appreciative of all people who make outstanding contributions, giving financially and giving of themselves to enable the museum to function and grow.
The light of the candle that each of the following people has helped us kindle will forever illuminate the darkest chapter of the Holocaust, that of the Mengele Twins.
1980s: Werner Loewenstein
1990: David Levin
1991: Lucette Matalon Lagnado
1992: Frank Klein
The arson interrupted 1993-1995
1996: Beth Schindel
1997: Kevin Daugherty and Jane Fisk
1998: Linda Lambert
1999: Clara L. Parsons
2000: Michael Kor
2001: James Wright
2002: Dolores Abel
2003: Darrell Peigh
2004: Adam and Renée Haber
2005: Bob Hercules and Cheri Pugh
2006: Walter Sommers
2007: Clyde Kersey and Tim Skinner
2008: Sherri Lynn Armstrong
2009: Catherine Baker, Lana Haber, and Jim Jenkins
2010: Tanna Srulovitch
2011: Kevin Bolinger, Kiel Majewski, and Beth Nairn
2012: N. Ann Rider, Jeff Rudkin
2013: Peggy Tierney