At the age of sixteen, Dr. Edith Eger, a trained ballet dancer and gymnast, was sent to Auschwitz. Hours after her parents were sent to the gas chamber, the “Angel of Death,” Nazi officer Dr. Josef Mengele forced Edith to dance for his amusement and her survival. He rewarded her with a loaf of bread that she shared with her fellow prisoners, an act of generosity that would later save her life.
On May 4, 1945 a young American soldier noticed Edith's hand moving slightly amongst a number of dead bodies. He quickly summoned medical help and brought her back from the brink of death. Today, Edith is a prolific author, a clinical psychologist, and holds a faculty appointment at the University of California, San Diego.
Decades after her nightmare at Auschwitz, Edith went back. Realizing that the biggest concentration camp is in fact in our minds, it became clear to her that she was only the obvious victim of the Holocaust. The perpetrators of the horrors at Auschwitz and other camps, in her view, may be even bigger victims, as they're the ones who ended having to live in a prison in their own minds, one that numbed them to compassion and love. Once again, despite her traumas, Edith ended up on the high road, a place from which she inspires all of us to do the same. This is a must-listen.
In Part 2, we discuss:
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