Recorded April 6, 2021.
Holocaust survivor, internationally acclaimed psychologist and bestselling author Dr. Edith Eger shares her powerful life story. At the age of sixteen, Edith, a trained ballet dancer and gymnast, was forcibly taken from her home in Hungary and sent in a cattle train to Auschwitz with her parents and one of her two sisters. Just hours after her parents were sent to their death in the gas chamber, Nazi officer Dr. Josef Mengele – also known as the “Angel of Death” – forced Edie to dance for his amusement. After enduring months of indescribable hardship and suffering, she was moved to Austria where on May 4, 1945 an American soldier noticed her hand moving slightly in a pile of dead bodies and quickly got her medical help. After the war, Edith moved to Czechoslovakia where she met her future husband. In 1949 they moved to the United States and in 1969, at age 42, she received her degree in Psychology from the University of Texas and then earned her PhD in Clinical Psychology nine years later. Dr. Eger has since written several books – including her international bestseller, The Choice: Embrace the Possible which was published when she was 90 and her most recent book The Gift: 12 Lessons to Save Your Life. Today, she has a clinical practice in La Jolla, California and also holds a faculty appointment at the University of California, San Diego.
As one of the last remaining Holocaust survivors, Dr. Edith Eger shares with us her unimaginable ordeal and explains why, despite everything she endured, she does not consider herself a victim. She talks about why she didn’t share her story until later in life – only picking up the pen at age 90 to write it all down in her powerful memoir, The Choice: Embrace the Possible. A pioneer in the field of psychology, Dr. Eger explains how she turned her greatest pain into a powerful tool to help others heal from their own trauma. As she talks about why she believes our painful experiences are not a liability but a gift, she shares how we can turn our own challenges into opportunities and realize what we never thought possible.
About Dr. Edith Eger
An eminent psychologist and one of the few remaining Holocaust survivors old enough to remember life in the camps, Dr. Edith Eger has worked with veterans, military personnel, and victims of physical and mental trauma. Edith Eva Eger was just a teenager in 1944 when she experienced one of the worst evils the human race has ever known. As a Jew living in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe, she and her family were sent to Auschwitz, the heinous death camp. Her parents were sent to the gas chambers but Edith’s bravery kept her and her sister alive. Toward the end of the war Edith and other prisoners had been moved to Austria. On May 4, 1945 a young American soldier noticed her hand moving slightly amongst a number of dead bodies. He quickly summoned medical help and brought her back from the brink of death.
After the war Edith moved to Czechoslovakia where she met the man she would marry. In 1949 they moved to the United States. In 1969 she received her degree in Psychology from the University of Texas, El Paso. She then pursued her doctoral internship at the William Beaumont Army Medical Center at Fort Bliss, Texas.
Dr. Eger is a prolific author and a member of several professional associations. She has a clinical practice in La Jolla, California and holds a faculty appointment at the University of California, San Diego. She has appeared on numerous television programs including CNN and the Oprah Winfrey Show; and was the primary subject of a holocaust documentary that appeared on Dutch National Television. She is frequently invited to speaking engagements throughout the United States and abroad.
Dr. Eger is the author of the award-winning books The Choice: Embrace the Possible and The Gift: 12 Lessons to Save Your Life.