STURGIS, Mich. — A West Michigan author and Holocaust survivor are hoping to educate young minds through a new children's book.
The book is called "I Will Protect You" and was written by Danica Davidson and Eva Kor.
Within the around 200 pages of the book, children will learn about one Holocaust survivor's story and how to recognize anti-semitism in their everyday lives.
"This is a story from a child’s point of view of something that is almost unheard of, of a child surviving this," said "I Will Protect You" Co-Author Danica Davidson.
The story focuses on Eva Kor, a survivor of Auschwitz.
"She survived because she was a twin. There was a Nazi doctor named Dr. Mengele who was experimenting on twins. She was selected for those experimentation's. There were 3,000 twins he had selected. 160 survived. She was one of them," said Davidson.
Eva credited her survival to the silent promise she made herself, that she and her twin sister Miriam would survive, despite experiencing what no child ever should.
"It was so unbelievably traumatic to see three dead children on the floor. It was almost like a light went on in my head like that is what would happen to us unless I did something to prevent it," said Eva Klor in a 2018 interview with Davidson.
The two met at a educational talk about the Holocaust at Western Michigan University in 2018. Davidson told Eva she wrote children's books, and Eva expressed interest in writing one with her own story.
"She was adamant that the real way to fight anti-semitism is to teach about it and to teach about the holocaust to kids under 12," said Davidson.
While the book tells Eva's story for elementary and middle school -aged children to understand, it also dives into the history of the Holocaust and teaches about recognizing anti-semitism.
"Kids’ Holocaust books are usually either textbooks or the personal stories. The textbooks kind of lack the personal, intimate information of who people are but they give you the numbers. Then the personal stories make you really close to the people but they don’t give you the bigger context. How did we get here? How did this happen?," said Davidson.
Davidson said it took about three weeks to come up with a rough draft starting in Fall of 2018. Then, it took three months to finalize it.
In June of 2019, Little, Brown and Company made an offer to publish the book. That offer coming in just 15 days before Eva unexpectedly passed away while back in Poland at Auschwitz on an education trip.
"Eva was an incredibly passionate educator. She gave talks all the time. She wanted to reach so many people. She has a BuzzFeed video that has been seen millions of times. She has a PBS documentary, but she was so adamant that what we needed to do was to reach the kids," said Davidson.
"I Will Protect You" by Eva Kor and Danica Davidson will be released on Tuesday, April 5 at bookstores throughout the county and online.
Danica Davidson will also be hosting a book signing on April 30 at 12 p.m. at Lowry's Books in Sturgis, Michigan.