CANDLES is an acronym for Children of Auschwitz Nazi Deadly Lab Experiments Survivors. The CANDLES organization was founded in 1984 by Eva Mozes Kor with help from her twin sister, Miriam Mozes Zieger, to launch an effort to locate other surviving Mengele twins. As a result of their efforts, Eva and Miriam were able to locate 122 individual Mengele twins living in ten countries and four continents. The search for more twins continues to this day.
In 1995, Eva opened the CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Terre Haute. In 2003, the museum was firebombed by an arsonist and burned to the ground. With support from the community and organizations, a new museum building opened in 2005 and remains an important part of the community today. The museum draws increasing numbers of visitors every year, many coming from long distances. On the 10th anniversary of the museum fire, CANDLES executive director Kiel Majewski expressed a sentiment that is felt throughout the community: "You may have destroyed some photos, but you didn't destroy our story. You may have destroyed some exhibits, but you didn't destroy our spirit. You may have destroyed a building, but you didn't destroy our community. Light prevails over darkness, and love will always conquer hate."
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
CANDLES Museum was closed 1993-1995 due to arson
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