Auschwitz Survivor Can Forgive Nazis, Can’t Accept TSA Body Searches

Eva Mozes Kor is a holocaust survivor. She and her twin sister were experimented upon by Josef Mengele at Auschwitz. She lived long enough to have a son who battled cancer, and to donate a kidney to her sister later on.

Her story is the most viewed Buzzfeed video on Facebook, ever.

She’s in her 80s but she’s active speaking about her experience. She has a documentary coming out. Her message is that she found healing in forgiveness.

She suffered inhumane scientific experiments at the hands of Nazis who orphaned her and she can forgive. But what she can’t forgive? How she’s treated at airport security by the TSA.

Hannah Arendt’s “banality of evil” comes to mind with how normalized government checkpoints, presenting your papers, and submitting to search has become in modern society. It just may take a holocaust survivor to remind us of that.

In the meantime I’ve got a hint for the TSA: Romanian Jewish holocaust survivors probably haven’t been radicalized by ISIS, and have probably been humiliated enough.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Has she tried pre-check? I haven’t been molested by TSA since they decommissioned the radiation machines, though they occasionally run the explosives scan on my luggage….

  2. What is the excuse of our inability to benchmark from those nations who have successfully tested and determined how to properly screen and identify threats, such as Israel and U.K.?
    Please don’t minimize Ben Gurion’s lower traffic vs. the U.S., as Heathrow is the busiest airport in Europe.

  3. Like many things in our life, security decisions are impacted by cost. TLV has very strict security and It seems they spend more time and personnel on each encounter. The lower traffic is not the issue, it is certainly scaleable. The cost to train and maintain more people is an issue. It should also be noted that security at TLV does not have to answer to multiple parties if security bogs down and pax miss their flights. The TSA in the US has to answer to airlines, airport managers and more.

  4. I’ve seen NCIS, the old plant the bomb on the 84 yr old is the oldest trick in the book.

    But yeah lady, the powers have already handled it, it’s called Pre Check.

  5. Here’s my biggest beef with the TSA (beyond the whole idea of the security kabuki they dispense)…


    Last week I was in three different airports with nude-o-scopes. Airport #1 (DEN) had me place my wallet in my hand. Airport #2 (SMF) had me put it in a bowl and send it through the x-ray. Airport #3 (LAX) had me put it with my laptop.

    Now look. None of these three requests were difficult or unreasonable. What makes me upset is that the same hardware being operated by the same agency ought to have people following the same protocol in all the places.

  6. “None of these three requests were difficult or unreasonable.”

    Yes, two of them were. You should never be made to have your wallet off your person and I don’t understand why more people don’t make a stink about this.

    If my wallet goes through and it’s not locked in my bag, I assume someone has the opportunity to steal something from it, especially if the whatever-o-scope has me unable to keep my eye on it as it goes through.


  7. TravisSFO, you have no idea of the pain and suffering this woman has lived through. You have a lot to learn and I hope one day you will.

  8. People who believe that Pre-Check is the be-all-end-all for avoiding body searches probably never heard of SSSS.

  9. I have pre-check but also Titanium knee and shoulder implants. I do get the invasive
    pat down every single time.

  10. I don’t have problems with TSA. Where do I have problems? Frankfurt, Germany. Every frickin time I have issues with their security. Only airport in the world I have a problem with and they are by far the most invasive. I’m almost always flying first class and there is nothing suspicious about my itinerary.

  11. I’ve marked this for followup. Until you delete and block TravisSFO I’m done reading you or following your links.

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