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Mengele promoted medical experimentation on inmates, especially dwarfs and twins. He is said
have supervised an operation by which two Gypsy children were sewn together to create
twins; the hands of the children became badly infected where the veins had been resected.
Cohen tells us:
"The only firsthand evidence on these experiments comes from a handful of survivors
and from a Jewish doctor, Miklos Nyiszli, who worked under Mengele as a
pathologist. Mengele subjected his victims - twins and dwarfs aged two and above - to
clinical examinations, blood tests, X rays, and anthropological measurements. In the
case of the twins, he drew sketches of each twin, for comparison. He also injected his
victims with various substances, dripping chemicals into their eyes (apparently in an
attempt to change their color).
He then killed them himself by injecting chloroform into their hearts, so as to carry out
comparative pathological examinations of their internal organs. Mengele's purpose,
according to Dr. Nyiszli, was to establish the genetic cause for the birth of twins, in
order to facilitate the formulation of a program for doubling the birthrate of the 'Aryan'
race. The experiments on twins affected 180 persons, adults and children.
Mengele also carried out a large number of experiments in the field of contageous
diseases, (typhoid and tuberculosis) to find out how human beings of different races
withstood these diseases. He used Gypsy twins for this purpose. Mengele's
experiments combined scientific (perhaps even important) research with the racist and
ideological aims of the Nazi regime. which made use of government offices, scientific
institutions, and concentration camps.
From the scanty information available, it appears that his research differed from the
other medical experiments in that the victims' death was programmed into his
experiments and formed a central element in it." (Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, 964)
MENGELE, JOSEF (1911- ?). Camp doctor at Auschwitz extermination camp. ..appointed chief
doctor in 1943 by Himmler ... joined other doctors (Koenig, Thilon, Klein) in the task of choosing
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selection was haphazard. The inmates were paraded before Mengele, who called either "Right!"
(work squads) or "Left!" (gas chambers). ...[he] promoted medical experimentation on inmates,
especially twins ... supervised an operation by which two Gypsy children were sewn together to
create Siamese twins ... hands of the two children became badly infected where the veins had
Witnesses at the Frankfurt Trial told of [his] standing before his victims with his thumb in his
belt and choosing candidates for the gas chambers. When it was reported that one block was
infected with lice, [he] solved the problem by gassing all the 750 women assigned to it.
Snyder, Dr. Louis L. Encyclopedia of the Third Reich. New York: Paragon House, 1989. ISBN
THE ANGEL OF DEATH: JOSEF MENGELE
"Right, left", what man could send people to their death with a flick of
a cane, without batting an eye? Josef Mengele. The stories and
pictures of Auschwitz tell a gruesome tale of death and torture. Stories
of the abused, used, and killed, the tales of the torturees have been
told, but what about the torturers? The SS, the "doctors", the ones
who carried out the deeds, what was their life like? That is what this
paper will focus on. What went on inside the pathology lab, and what
went on inside the pathologist.
Millions of people passed through Auschwitz, Mengele's domain,
during the Holocaust. Early in 1945, it was recorded that over
700,000 people were currently "living" (dying) there. Over 1 million
people were killed at Auschwitz, about a fifth of all the Jews killed.
People were brought to Auschwitz in cattle cars, hundreds of people
would be put into a car and then not let out for days, without food or water. Even when the trains
arrived at Auschwitz they would often sit on the track for days until all the many trains which had
come before were unloaded. After this hellish journey, the first thing that people saw was Josef
Mengele, the angel of Auschwitz standing in his immaculate SS uniform, shining boots, perfectly
brushed and pressed shirt and pants, and glistening silver skulls.
Josef Mengele was a doctor at Auschwitz, he performed experiments, made selections, and is
responsible for sending thousands of people to the crematorium. As a person he was "split", one
of him was the heartless, uncaring, medical-atrocities side, while the other was a gentle, almost
human side. When these two side overlapped was when Mengele was most horrible. Often when
taking small children to the gas chamber, he would give them candy and make a game out of,
"walking to the chimney". Another example of false kindness is well put in the words of Moshe
a test subject of Mengele.
"They took X-rays of us, then Doctor Mengele came in. And he gave us sweets. He wore a white
gown, but beneath it you could see the SS trousers. He gave us candy, and then gave us some
horribly painful injections."
Josef Mengele was very high up in Nazi status, he reported to Heinrich Himmler, who reported
directly to Adolf Hitler. The attraction of Auschwitz to Mengele was the limitless supply of human
test subjects. Mengele was able to perform ANYTHING he wanted on live, human subjects. Life
was good for Mengele at Auschwitz, everyday he got luxuries: a fifth of a liter of vodka, a dozen
cigarettes, and German sausage. Auschwitz was a regular world for SS officers, there were
with white picket fences to live in, a soccer stadium, a theater, and an SS officers club where the
officers got gourmet meals. It was not uncommon for an SS officer to dine on roasted chicken
potatoes, while the prisoners were starving and dying.
Mengele served many purposes at Auschwitz, he made selections of the newly arriving
those who could work to the right, and those who couldn't to the left (gas chambers), and he
performed experiments. Mengele wanted to create a "pure" Aryan race, and to make German
mothers give birth to as many German babies as possible.
Doing selections gave Mengele access to any prisoner he wanted, he could hand pick his test
subjects-and he did. "Zwillinge, Zwillinge, Zwillinge!" Twins, Twins, Twins! Mengele picked twins,
dwarfs, and people who had deformities to do experiments on. He wanted to erase these traits
the "pure" Aryan race. Mengele was very interested in doing autopsies on twins who had died at
exact same time, in the real world one twin might die at 7 while the other might die at 77, but in
closed environment he could study twins who had died at the same moment.
Many of Mengele's experiments were based on literally creating a blond hair blue eyed race. One
reason why Mengele might have been obsessed with "German" looks is because his brown hair
eyes, and his gypsy-esque look didn't define him as a "pure" Aryan. One of his most famous
experiments was with eye color. Mengele or one of his assistants would inject dyes into the
unanesthetized eye of a child, preferably a set of twins. The dyes often resulted in injury,
complete blindness, not to mention excruciating pain.
Another set of experiments were designed to create better equipment for German soldiers, better
gear for the cold, and for high altitudes. A set of freezing experiments were performed to make
clothing for navy crew who might fall in the water. People were placed in vats of ice water,
see the fatal temperature of a human. People were locked outside, in snow and ice, also naked,
collect more information on human body temperature. Also sometimes after he had chilled
Mengele would try to warm the person up, back to normal functioning levels-this almost never
One of the more gruesome experiments was a pressure chamber. Prisoners were locked inside a
pressure chamber that would simulate flying at high altitudes. The person's breathing pattern was
meticulously recorded, until they died. People would often kill themselves by throwing
against the walls of the chamber, so that they would not die a more horrible death, suffocation
sometimes explosion. As in the words of Anton Pacholegg, an Austrian prisoner who assisted Dr.
Rascher in the Dachau camp;
"I have personally seen through the observation window of the decompression chamber, when a
prisoner inside would stand a vacuum until his lungs ruptured."
One can not help but wonder what kind of a person could ever consider doing things so horrible,
much less carry them out. Who could ever kill an innocent child by injecting chloroform into their
heart, causing the blood to coagulate and kill the child. Who could ever imagine sewing a set of
together to try and make siamese twins? These acts just seem to be out of the human realm. Yet
Josef Mengele did all of these acts, and more. When the Nazis realized that the Allied forces
getting closer, the Nazis covered up their deeds by destroying most of the gas chambers and the
pathology lab next to them that was occupied by the "doctor" Mengele. We may never know the
extent to which the experiments went.
Mengele covered up his past as well as the Nazis covered up Auschwitz, and better. Josef
left Auschwitz on January 17, 1945 after being there since 1943. Mengele secretly joined a
German infantry, and was released after the Allies found the soldiers in which Mengele was
There had always been a strong Nazi presence in South America, so with funds from his family,
went off the Argentina. Mengele lived with a farming family in Argentina for a while, but Mengele
very scared of being caught, so between 1945 and 1979 Mengele moved to and from different
countries in South America. There was a great hunt for the elusive Doctor Mengele, there were
rewards, warrants, and even Nazi Hunters after him, but no one ever found him. No one knew it
when he died. Josef Mengele was living in Brazil with the Bossert family, when for the first time,
went out in the sun in a public place. Mengele was paranoid that he would be caught, so he often
only went out at night. On January 7, 1979, the Bossert family persuaded him to go for a swim to
ease his mind. He did, but while out at sea he had a stroke, Mengele's body was paralyzed, and
started to drown. People managed to drag him out of the water, but it was too late, the infamous
Doctor Mengele was dead.
People didn't find out until the mid-1980's that Mengele was dead, I think that's quite fitting to the
seemingly ever-present Josef Mengele. People say that they saw Mengele at the selection night
day. He was a mythological creature at Auschwitz, he could come at any time day or night to
test subjects from the barracks. Mengele was the symbol of the Nazis, evil, lurking, and always