Joseph Mengele - "Angel of Death" from Auschwitz
Josef Mengele (born on March 16, 1911 in Günzburg, deceased on February 7, 1979 in Bertioga, Brazil), a German scientist and doctor, an SS officer. He is best known for his service in the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp as the "Angel of Death".
He was born as the eldest of three sons. His father owned the company Karl Mengele & Söhne, which manufactured agricultural machinery. In 1930 he passed his final exams. At first he wanted to study dentistry, but eventually he decided to take medicine. He was admitted to the faculties of philosophy and medicine at the University of Munich. He participated in anthropology, paleontology and medicine courses. In 1937, he joined the NSDAP, and in 1938 he joined the SS.
During his medical studies he learned from Ernst Rüdin, an avid follower of Nazi ideas. In 1935, Josef Mengele received a PhD for his work titled "Racial-morphological studies of the jaw in four racial groups”. He was also offered an assistant position at the Institute of Heredity, Biology and Racial Purity of the Third Reich at the University of Frankfurt. There he was trained by Hitler’s follower, Professor Otmar Freiherr von Verschuer, a specialist in the field of genetics.
In 1940, Mengele joined the Waffen-SS and, for a year, worked at the Race and Resettlement Office, where he discovered his calling. His official task was to assess the racial purity of Poles. Later, he was transferred to the Ukraine, where in 1942 he was wounded and returned to his native country. At the end of 1942, he was transferred to Berlin, to the SS Race and Settlement Main Office. On May 24, 1943, after another promotion (to the rank of Hauptsturmführer SS), he was transferred to the Auschwitz concentration camp, where he was to replace one of the sick doctors.
He began his career in Auschwitz-Birkenau by sending 1042 Roma infected with typhus to gas chambers. From May 1943 to November 1944, Mengele participated in at least 74 selections at the ramp. He mercilessly ordered to kill all the people who were unable to work. He was called "the Angel of Death" among the prisoners.He was also known for his experiments. Among others, he dealt with the mystery of multiple pregnancy. For this reason, nearly all twins were selected from transports, and then subjected to cruel surgeries and painful examinations, often without any anesthetic. Unnecessary amputations, lumbar punctures, typhus injections and intentional infection of wounds were performed to compare the twins' responses.
After the war, thanks to the help of Bishop Alois Hudal, Josef Mengele emigrated overseas. He moved to Argentina. In 1959, he briefly moved to Paraguay and then to Brazil. In 1979, he died while swimming in the ocean near Santos. The cause of death was probably a stroke. He was buried as Wolfgang Gerhard. Research conducted in 1992 confirmed Mengele's identity.
He had a son, Rolf, who said that his father told him that he had saved the lives of thousands of prisoners.
Above, a very short story of Joseph Mengele. In return, I present some perhaps less known facts and refer to the literature.
- As a child, he was close to death several times as a result of illness or accident
- In 1935, Josef Mengele received the title of doctor for his work entitled "Racial-morphological examination of the jaw in four racial groups"
- At the beginning of the war, he fought on the Eastern Front
- In the summer of 1942, he received the First Class Iron Cross for drawing two wounded soldiers from a burning tank under fire and providing them with first aid
- He received the Black Wound Badge and the Medal for Taking Care of the German Nation.
- Mengele stood out among SS physicians at Auschwitz. He was the only one who served on the front and had high military decorations (First Class Iron Cross, Second Class Iron Cross, Military Merit Cross Second Class, Winter Campaign in the East Medal, Medal for the Protection of the German Nation, Black Wound Badge).
- It is estimated that Mengele performed his criminal experiments on approximately 1,500 twins, of which less than 100 survived.
- He did not have a typical SS blood group tattoo on the inside of his left arm.
- August Wilhelm Miete, who was responsible for the functioning of the "infirmary" in the Treblinka extermination camp, was also referred to as the "Angel of Death".
- During the selection, he distributed sweets and toys to children who were sent to die.
- He was targeted several times by Mosad and Nazi hunters.
- The Vatican helped him escape to Argentina.
- The song "Angel of Death" by Slayer refers to the character of Josef Mengele.
I recommend the following books:
"I Was Doctor Mengele's Assistant", Miklós Nyiszli
"Doctors from Hell", Spitz Vivien
"Surviving the Angel of Death", opracowanie zbiorowe
"Mengele: The Complete Story", Posner Gerald
" The Disappearance of Josef Mengele ", Guez Olivier
" The Women of Block 10: Medical Experiments in Auschwitz ", Lang Joachim Hans
"Surviving the Angel of Death: The Story of a Mengele Twin in Auschwitz", Eva Kor, Lisa Rojany Buccieri