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Josef Mengele- The Angel of Death

The Young Mengele
Mengele at Auschwitz
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Mengele After Auschwitz

The Young Josef Mengele



     Josef Mengele was the eldest of three sons born to Karl and Walburga Mengele in the Bavarian village of Gunzburg. Walburga ruled her home with an equal amount of firmness, demanding  respect and obedience from her three sons, Josef, Alois, and Karl, Jr.  Walburga sought total control over her household and the lives of those who lived in it. She was successful in  making Josef a very well disciplined and respectful son.  Her cold-hearted methods were believed to have led Josef to his bloodlust as a SS doctor and his murding in Aushwits.
    His father Karl, wished for Josef to work for the family factory in Gunzburg as a accountant.  However, Josef was looking for something far beyond those lines of business.  Ever since a little boy, Josef had dreamt of leaving Gunzburg and pursueing in science and anthropology.
    As a young boy, Josef was remembered as a bright, cheerful boy despite the lack of affection that was missing at home.  At school Josef was never the top of his class, but did fairly well.  He was recognized as a well-behaved student concerning conduct and punctuality.  Josef maintained a distinguished style of clothing wearing only hand-tailored and sporting white cotton dress gloves, which soon became his trademark that separated him from other SS doctors.



    Josef was considered a model student by his peers and was often complimented by very strict teachers. He graduated from the Gunzburg gymnasium, which is a high school, in 1930. After passing his preliminary college entry exam, called an Arbitur, he was accepted into the University of Munich. There he studied Philosophy and Medicine. Soon he began to develop great interest in eugenics, which is the study of genetics that tries to reveal the reasons for deformities and imperfections. As a student at the University of Munich, Josef was heavily influenced by the teachings of Dr. Ernst Rudin, who believed that some lives were simply not worth living and should be removed from the general population with the help of doctors.

    Five years after entering the University, Mengele was awarded a Ph.D. for his thesis entitled "Racial Morphological Research on the Lower Jaw Section of Four Racial Groups." Then, in 1936, Mengele passed his state medical exam and began working under Professor Otmar Freiherr von Verschuer who may have had a major influenc on the cruel and torturous actions Josef would later do.


    Because of his family, Josef Mengele had always considered himself a national conservative member. However, when he attended the University of Munich, the Nazis were the second-largest party in the German parliament. Adolf Hitler was using Munich as the primary stage from which he would achieve domination over all of German society. As josef is quoted as saying.

                "My political leanings were, I think for reasons of family tradition, national conservative. I had  not joined any political organization. But in the long run, it was impossible to stand aside in these politically stirring times, should our Fatherland not succumb to the Marxist-Bolshevik attack. This simple political concept finally becamse the decisive factor in my life."

    In 1934, hitler ordered the SA, or Brownshirts, to absorb the Stalhelm organization, automatically making Mengele a member. However, a kidney ailment which left him in a weakened condition, forced him to resign from the organization.

    Josef became an official Party member in 1937. In May of 1938, he applied for membership with and was accepted into the Schutzstaffel, or SS. This was Hitler's elite corps of race guardians, those who demonstrated both the purist Aryan racial background and adherence to Nazi ideology and practices.

    In 1938, he received his first military training, and won a few awards for his bravery as a soldier. He wanted to continue as one, but a wound during battle forced him to quit, and he resigned to being a doctor.



    In 1926, Josef Mengele was diagnosed with a disease called osteomyelitis. This disease affects the kidney and the ailment affected him throughout his entire life. He had to resign from the SA due to it, and he also had to wait a few more years before he could fight in combat because of the pain it caused him.



Josef Mengele in his S.S. Uniform