Victim Or Survivor?
The Choice by Edith Eger is the true story of a concentration camp survivor who uses her experiences to help others. It is a painful read but one that also gives hope. We cannot stop the bad things from happening but “I can choose how to respond to the past.”
Our outlook to our circumstances will determine whether we survive or perish. “No one can make you a victim but you.” In the camps Edith Eger chose to focus on the good times. Her mind took her to places her body could not go. “We can’t choose to vanish the dark, but we can choose to kindle the light.”
Edith Eger survived because she held on to the positive. Her mindset was to survive today because tomorrow she would be free. Edith Eger survived Auschwitz, death marches and more camps. She clung on to hope.
Freedom did not come with liberation. Freedom came with facing her past and talking about it. For years Edith Eger locked her memories away and imprisoned herself. Only when she spoke out about the horrors did she begin to heal.
Returning to Auschwitz years later, Edith Eger laid her ghosts to rest. She released her guilt. Earlier, staying at Hitler’s Berghof, she forgave him. This did not mean forgetting or letting Hitler off the hook but it did bring freedom for Edith Eger. “I lived to see freedom because I learned to forgive.”
Edith Eger quotes Corrie ten Boom forgiving the concentration camp guard in God’s strength. She believes we can choose to live out our Hitler side or our ten Boom side.
The Choice is powerful and heart wrenching. There are lessons for us all to learn. The main one being that forgiveness is freeing. Holding a grudge and seeking revenge imprisons us and weighs us down. Choose to forgive and live free. Survival and freedom have much to do with our state of mind as well as our external circumstances. Edith Eger is a brave woman.
May we never forget the six million innocents who perished in the Holocaust.
I received this book for free from Net Galley. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.