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Josef Mengele- The Angel of Death

The Young Mengele
Mengele at Auschwitz
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Mengele After Auschwitz


He displayed his amazing knowledge of human genetics, and his overseer was quite impressed.In 1937, he also officially joined the Nazi party and in 1938 applied and was accepted into the S.S. By the age of 28, Mengele had climbed to a place of prominence within the Nazi hierarchy and was positioned to wield great power and influence.In early 1943, Dr. Josef Mengele received a new assignment. In May of 1943, Mengele departed from Berlin for his next assignment: the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz, Poland.

Heinrich Himmler appointed him camp docter of Auschwitz. In Auschwitz he was responsable for the selection procedures and in 19 months 400,000 prisoners went through the selection procedure, and most of them lost their lives in the gaschambers. He ordered 'scientific' experiments to be committed on the prisoners and took an active part in these experiments.   Most horrible were his experiments on twins.

Mengele had a very special interest in twins because he believed they held the genetic key to producing the ideal race.

He began by gaining the children's trust using candy and fun games. Some of the kids even called him "Uncle Mengele". Once he did this, it was much easier to perform experiments on theses kids. They trusted him and believed nothing bad would happen to them. They were sadly mistaken.


Mengele's stated mission at Auschwitz was to perform research on human genetics. The goal of Mengele's work was to unlock the secrets of genetic engineering, and to devise methods for eradicating inferior gene strands from the human population as a means to creating a Germanic super-race. However, despite the scientific premise for his work, Mengele's accomplishments added volumes to the annals of human cruelty while contributing nothing of value to the greater understanding of human genetics and genetic engineering.

   His work had been limited to observing the behavior of twin subjects; he was prohibited from experimenting on living subjects by the ethical norms which had prevailed prior to the Nazi era. The Nazis swept away such norms and in Auschwitz, von Verschuer saw unlimited possibilities for his protégé, Josef Mengele, to conduct the types of in vivo experiments he had longed to conduct for so long. Mengele, ever anxious to please his mentor (Professor von Verschuer), arrived at Auschwitz with a mission to plumb the depths of the human mystery, and to extract the secrets of human genetics from the living twin specimens at his disposal
    Only days after entering the camp, Mengele established his reputation as a ruthless, cold-blooded killer who even struck fear in his fellow SS officers. He took great pleasure in selecting prisoners who would go to the labor lines or be sent to their death at the gas chambers. Mengele was very unpredictable in that he could be very charming and sweet to a prisoner one moment and then order them to be killed the next. This frightened all of the inmates who came in contact with him because they never knew if their lives would be spared or not.
    Mengele took great pride and devotion into his medical research at the camp. He liked to observe dwarfs, cripples, and other "exotic specimens", but twins were what interested him the most. He performed many horrifying experiments on them, such as sewing two twin boys together to make Siamese twins or by amputation limbs (without anesthetics) and switching them from one twin to the other. Most of his patients died due to infections, and the ones that did survive are constantly haunted by the disturbing memories of this cruel man.
    Josef Mengele is recognized as one of the cruelest officers in the Nazi party. Survivors today still have the image of his white gloves and immaculate uniform with polished boots. They are still haunted by his detached, uncaring outlook of the sorrow that surrounded them.



Mengele's "research"
The twins were first observed by lying naked to each other so that the researchers could examine similarities and differences between their bodies. Blood was drawn from each twin and this resulted in many mass blood transfusions from one twin to the other.
     Mengele tested out many different experiments on the children. He tried to fabricate blue eyes by dropping dyes into their eyes, and this caused excruciating pain and sometimes even temporary blindness. If the twins happened to die, he would harvest their eyes and pin them to the wall of his office, much like a biologist pins insect samples to styrofoam. Mengele sometimes would try transplanting bones or organs from one twin to another. He injected blood samples from one twin into another twin of a different blood type and recorded the reaction. This was invariably a searingly painful headache and high fever that lasted for several days...He injected many unknown chemicals into their bodies, which caused severe pain, and would perform spinal taps without using anesthetics. He would purposely infect one twin with a fatal disease, such typhus or tuberculosis and wait for them to die. Then he would kill the surviving twin so he could examine the bodies and the effects of the disease. Young children were placed in isolation cages, and subjected to a variety of stimuli to see how they would react. Several twins were castrated or sterilized. Many twins had limbs and organs removed in macabre surgical procedures that Mengele performed without using an anesthetic.

Sad, but true
Although the twins were often hurt by experiments, Mengele did offer them some protection from others. They were allowed extra food rations, were spared from beatings, and were sometimes even allowed to roam the Auschwitz compound and pick flowers. Mengele sometimes even picked favorites. At one point, he picked a young boy named Peter and dressed him in a pure white suit every day. Mengele treated Peter as his "little Jew" son, bringing him candy and playing ball with him. The child died in Auschwitz of a disease, but that bit of kindness may show that somewhere Mengele had a bit of his heart left.