"The Angel of Death"
Josef Mengele was born in Gunzburg, Bavaria on 16 March 1911. After studying philosophy in Munich, Mengele took his medical degree at the University of Frankfurt am Main.
A convinced Nazi, he became after 1934 a research fellow and staff member of the newly founded Institut fur Erbbiologie und Rassenhygiene – Institute of Hereditary Biology and Race Research, where he specialised in the study of twins and racial pedigrees.
During World War Two, Mengele joined the Waffen-SS and served as a medical officer in France and Russia.
He was appointed to the post of Camp Doctor in the Gypsy Family Camp doctor in Auschwitz Concentration Camp on 30 May 1943, where he directed innumerable selections of victims, proving himself to be a ruthless and pitiless implementer of the “Final Solution.”
In Auschwitz Mengele continued to pursue his pseudo- scientific research into presumed racial differences, anomalies of giants and dwarfs, hunchbacks and other deformities.
People afflicted with any sort of physical deformity would be killed for him, on his orders, upon their arrival in the death camp, to provide new material for his studies.
There was a special dissection ward where autopsies of murdered camp inmates were performed. Mengele was especially interested in medical experiments on twins, hoping to find a method of creating a race of blue-eyed Aryans that would realize the grotesque dreams of Nazi racial science.
After the war, Mengele managed to escape from a British internment hospital and, with the aid of false papers, fled via Rome to Buenos Aires. One of the most wanted Nazi war criminals, Mengele was reported to have seen by various eye-witnesses in Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay, and substantial rewards were offered for his capture.
Naturalised as a Paraguayan citizen in November 1959, Mengele was sought by the West German Bonn government after 1962, but all efforts to capture or bring him to trial failed.
In 1985, after a large reward had been offered in Israel for information leading to his capture, it was announced that he had most probably died in a swimming accident in Embu, Brazil, on 7 February 1979.
In July 1985 a body, presumed to be that of Mengele, was exhumed in Brazil and autopsied by an international panel of forensic pathologists.
They concluded that there was a high probability that it was indeed Mengele’s last remains, but an element of doubt still exists in some quarters.
Rolf Mengele issued a statement saying that he "had no doubt it was the remains of his father". Everything was kept quiet "to protect those who knew him in South America", Rolf said. In 1992, a DNA test confirmed Mengele´s identity. He had evaded capture for 34 years.
Who’s Who in Nazi Germany by Robert S Wistrich published by Routledge, London and New York 1995
Auschwitz Chronicle by Danuta Czech, published by Henry Holt and Company, New York 1989
Copyright CW H.E.A.R.T 2007