Edith Eger

A native of Hungary, 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.

Today Dr. Eger is 90 years old. She maintains a busy clinical psychology practice in La Jolla, California, holds a faculty appointment at the University of California, San Diego, and regularly gives lectures around the country and abroad, also serving as a consultant for the United States Army and Navy in resiliency training and the treatment of PTSD. Dr. Eger inspires and empowers diverse audiences, from Navy SEALs to clergy and religious groups to medical professionals to survivors of domestic abuse. She has appeared on numerous television programs including The Oprah Winfrey Show and a recent CNN special commemorating the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. (Photo credit: Jordan Engle)



  • The Choice: Embrace the Possible
  • The Gift




One of the few living Holocaust survivors to remember the horrors of the camps, Edie has chosen to forgive her captors and find joy in her life every day. Years after she was liberated from the concentration camps Edie went back to college to study psychology. She combines her clinical knowledge and her own experiences with trauma to help others who have experienced painful events large and small. Dr. Eger has counseled veterans suffering from PTSD, women who were abused, and many others who learned that they too, can choose to forgive, find resilience, and move forward. She is called on to train soldiers to endure the rigors of battle and to lecture on the power of love and healing.

The Choice weaves Eger’s personal story with case studies from her work as a psychologist. Her patients and their stories illustrate different phases of healing and show how people can choose to escape the prisons they construct in their minds and find freedom, regardless of circumstance. Eger’s story is an inspiration for everyone. And her message is powerful and important: “Your pain matters and is worth healing, you can choose to be joyful and free.” She is ninety and still dancing.

The Choice book cover


The New York Times link

Eger isn’t the first Auschwitz survivor to write an account of the experience and introduce a way to move forward. In fact, it’s the psychiatrist Viktor Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning,” handed to Eger by a fellow student more than two decades after liberation — at a time when Eger is still “pounded by loss” — that jump-starts her journey from “wearing a mask” to learning “how people heal.”

“I can’t imagine a more important message for modern times. Eger’s book is a triumph, and should be read by all who care about both their inner freedom and the future of humanity. —LISA GOTTLIEB, New York Times Book Review