The mental strength of Mrs. Edith Eger (94) or – The choice is yours!

personSlađana Milošević
history7 minutes reading

We are in a critical moment of history with possibility of a new world war. Sad and upsetting. Especially, it all comes after two years of pandemic, which was not easy for none of us.

In these difficult and challenging times, we are all trying to find ways to cope with it. Browsing Facebook I have just found this video shared on one of my groups on Facebook: Viktor E. Frankl – Logotherapy & Existential Analysis.

11 minutes that can bring hope back to us all. Amazing, dr Edith Eger, The Holocaust (Shoah) survivor is talking to BBC Breakfast in 2018 how she helps others recover from trauma: Inspirational Auschwitz survivor tells Breakfast how she helps others recover from trauma – YouTube.

I was touched with this video and the message and I also learnt there that Edith is a dancer. So, here we are with a story about her amazing life and her strength.

These are the information from Wikipedia.

Edith Eger is the youngest daughter of Lajos and Ilona Elefánt, Hungarian Jews in an area which was, at the time of her birth back in 1927, in Czechoslovakia. Eger’s hometown is Košice, Slovakia today.

Eger attended gymnasium high school and took ballet lessons. She was a member of the Hungarian Olympic gymnastics team. In 1942 she was removed from the gymnastics team due to new anti-Jewish laws of Hungarian Government. Her elder sister Clara was a violin player and was admitted to the Conservatory of Budapest. During the war Clara was hidden by her music teacher. Her sister Magda was a pianist.

In March 1944, Eger was forced to live in the Košice ghetto with her parents and her sister Magda. In May of that year they were deported to Auschwitz. When she was selected for the gas chamber, she was separated from her mother by Josef Mengele himself. Her mother was murdered in the gas chamber.

In her memoirs, Eger relates that the same evening Mengele made her dance for him in her barracks.

According to her memoirs, Eger stayed in various camps. The Nazis evacuated Mauthausen and other concentration camps as the Americans and Russians approached. Eger was on a death march with her sister Magda to the Gunskirchen concentration camp, about 55 kilometers away. Conditions in Gunskirchen were so bad that Eger had to eat grass to survive, while other prisoners turned to cannibalism. When the U.S. military liberated the camp in May 1945, according to Eger, she was left for dead among a number of dead bodies. A soldier is said to have rescued her after seeing her hand move. The soldier quickly sought medical attention and saved her life. She weighed 32 kilograms at the time, and had a broken back, typhoid fever, pneumonia, and pleurisy. (Source: Wikipedia)

Edith and Magda recovered in American field hospitals and returned to Kassa where they found their sister Clara. Their parents and Edith’s fiancé Eric did not survive Auschwitz. She married Béla (Albert) Éger, whom she met in the hospital. He was also a Jewish survivor. In 1949, after threats from the communists, they fled together with their daughter to the United States. There she suffered from her war trauma and survivor guilt and did not want to talk about the war with her children. (Source: Wikipedia)

Eger befriended Viktor Frankl, went into therapy, and received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Texas at El Paso in 1978. She also received her license to practise as a psychologist. She opened a therapy clinic in California and was appointed to the faculty at the University of California, San Diego. (Source: Wikipedia)

In 1990, Eger returned to Auschwitz to face her repressed emotions. She published her experiences in her first book The Choice in 2017. (Source: Wikipedia)

In her work as a psychologist, Eger helps her clients to free themselves from their own thoughts, and helps them to ultimately choose freedom. The Choice became a New York Times and Sunday Times bestseller. In her second book The Gift (2020) she encourages the reader to change the thoughts that, according to Eger, imprison us and the destructive behaviors that would hinder us. What happens to us in life is not the most important thing in the end, she says. Rather, the most important thing is what we do with our lives. (Source: Wikipedia)

Her husband Béla Eger died in 1993. They have three children together.

At her Instagram profile I learnt that her boyfriend and dancing partner Gene died few months ago.

Despite everything that she survived she has always chosen to keep going. And dancing!

Thank You, amazing Edith!


Viktor E. Frankl – Logotherapy & Existential Analysis

The Holocaust – Wikipedia

BBC Breakfast – YouTube

Home – Dr. Edith Eger (

Edith Eger – Wikipedia

Dr. Edith Eger (@dr.editheger) • Instagram photos and videos

Viktor Frankl – Wikipedia

The Choice | Book by Edith Eva Eger | Official Publisher Page | Simon & Schuster (

The Gift – Dr. Edith Eger (


Edith Egermental strengthThe ChoiceThe Gift
Sladjana Milosevic
Blog Author Sladjana Milosevic

Accredited coach/mentor (MP EIA). Accredited coach/mentor supervisor (ESIA)

Diplomate in Logotherapy (Viktor Frankl Institute, USA)

Logocoaching – coaching by applying basic principles of logotherapy.

Coaching – Sir John Whitmore defines coaching as: “Unlocking person’s potential to maximize their own performance” (Source: Whitmore, J. (2002). Coaching for Performance, Third Edition: Growing People, Performance, and Purpose).

Coaching is not a therapy in any sense!

Logotherapy – Logotherapy provides answers to questions about the meaning of existence. As a psychotherapeutic approach, it brings into psychotherapy the knowledge that in addition to the physical and mental dimension, a person also has a third, spiritual dimension. In Logotherapy, the focus in on the future, on tasks and meaning.

You can find more about Logotherapy from: Viktor Frankl Institute, Vienna/Austria.

For more information about logocoaching, coaching and coach/mentor supervision you can send e-mail to Sladjana: