During world war two, the holocaust affected millions of lives, especially those of the twins and the children at Auschwitz, who were brutally experimented on with no pan management while under the supervision of Dr. Joseph Mengele. Many died and the rest lived the rest of their lives with severe medical problems. Dr. Mengele was not a simple creature though. The creation of the Nazi angel of death began as a child in a cold distant family, and gradually evolved with his enrolling into college, joining of his political party and the military.
Both of which were vital for his desire to perform his twisted experiments. Experiments that were so cruel and brutal he was forced to flee Germany after the war for fear of being put to death himself. What Joseph Mengele did at Auschwitz left his victims scarred both mentally and physically for the rest of their lives. Dr. Joseph Mengele was born to Karl and Walburga Mengele in the Bavarian village of Gunzburg. He was the eldest of three children his two brothers were Alois and Karl Jr. ife at home was not a gentle loving embrace by any means. From all accounts Karl Mengele was a harsh and distant man. One whos main concern in life was the pursuit of his fortune. Karl owned a factory that manufactured farm equipment. He was never home for he was so preoccupied with work.
All this left Walburga with the children and she ruled her home with a cold iron fist, the boys were not allowed and form of pleasure at all they led strict Roman Catholic lives just as their parents did, days filled with hard labor and prayer. Posner & Ware). This cold and emotionally withdrawn life at home is most likely what caused young joseph to defy his fathers wishes of taking over the family business to enroll in college at the University of Frankfurt. Although not an especially outstanding student as far as academics or his marks in school, he was considered to be a bright young man and a very punctual student. It was in the subjects of medicine and the arts of healing that joseph found he infatuated with.
But also he held a great interest in eugenics and genetics, specifically genes that caused human deformities and imperfections. It was also at this time that he became involved with the idea of the unworthy life theory. in 1934 he was awarded a Ph. D. for his thesis racial morphological research on the lower jaw sections of four racial groups. By 1935 Josef had already delved deep in to the world of politics and the military intrigue of the day. In 1937 he was recommended for and received a position at the third Reich institute for heredity, biology and racial purity in Frankfurt.
Here he met the man who would become his mentor, surrogate father and the one who would be the inspiration for his most vile acts professor Otmar Freiherr von Verschuer. (Astor). By 1938 Josef, twenty-eight years of age, at the time held positions of enormous power within the Nazi party but that year it all changed when he joined the Waffen SS. Hitlers elite killing squad, and with his joining of the Waffen SS he was assigned to be the head of Auschwitz the German hell. Mengele quickly made his blood lust apparent when he ordered one thousand gypsies gassed the day after he arrived.
But above all his favorite job at Auschwitz was the sorting of the new arrivals. He would be at the train every day in hand tailored freshly pressed uniforms and the while gloves that he would become infamous for. He would walk down the line as the inmates were herded off the cattle cars and with his riding crop he would direct them right or left. Those who were sent to the right were to be put to death immediately. The ones sent to the left were to be made to do slave labor and be animals for the doctors experiments. His favorites were the children, especially the twins.
Mengele regarded twins higher than all others. The other officers who would aid Mengele in the sorting were given special orders to search for twins. They were even given special quarters away from the rest of the inmates. (Astor). These twins were afforded many niceties that the other inmates would only dream of such as they were allowed to keep their hair, their own clothes and often times given candy; the twins were even provided with medical treatment should they become ill. No one would dare let one of the doctors become overly ill or die from an illness. (Kor).
He was infamous for going into a flurry of rage if one of his twins were to die. What was in store for the twins that he loved so much were what can only be described as the most appalling and inhumane events that occurred in the second great war. Some of the tests were fairly run of the mill, questionnaires, and height and weight measurements. Standard procedure for any doctor but the worst was yet to come. Mengele was known for many of his experiments. Just a few of his favorites were those which involved eye color, resistance to disease and live human dissection.
Mengele would find pair of twins which he believed was suitable for his desired experiment. (Lagnado & Dekel). The eyes for example one twin would be a control for the experiment. The other would have a colored dye injected into their eye. No anesthesia was ever involved; the insertion of the dye often times would result in nasty infections or complete blindness. Others involved live human dissection of infants and very young children. He carried out twin-to-twin transfusions, stitched twins together, castrated or sterilized twins.
Many twins had limbs and organs removed in macabre surgical procedures, performed without using an anesthetic. He also did multiple sex changes and tests to see if twins needed each other to survive one would be placed in isolation with little or no food and no clothes. As part of his normal practice he did not use and sort of pain numbing agents in any of his procedures. While Dr. Mengele was doing these dissections he would often try to remove organs and observe the effects that this would have on the live subjects. (Bulow).
Although many Nazi doctors justified Mengeles experiments as scientifically relevant. But they were no more than a sick psychopath acting out his most hellish desires and fantasies. It was a commonly known fact that Dr. Mengele kept trophies from his experiments. He would keep the eyes from his experiments and pin them on the wall of his office much as one would pin a butterfly to a corkboard to be admired later. Also he had a lampshade which he made with his own two hands which was crafted out the ears of the children he had experimented on.
Among other things Mengele often tried gene splicing or genetic alterations on his patients. He would do so be transfusing large amounts of blood or other bodily fluids from one subject to another or subject them to massive amounts of radiation. Other methods included but were not limited to exposure to noxious gases or other types of chemical weapons. Dr. Josef Mengele fled from Auschwitz on January 17th, 1945, as the Soviet army advanced across the crumbling German Reich towards Berlin. During the first few years of the post-war era, Mengele remained in hiding on farm near his native Gunzburg.
He assumed a fake identity, and worked as a farm hand, keeping informed of events through secret contacts with old Gunzburg friends. Incredibly, he at first aspired to continue his career as a research scientist, but it became increasingly apparent that the Allies were not going to let a notorious war criminal such as he simply resume the life he had enjoyed prior to the war without paying for the crimes he had committed during it. Mengele finally decided that he was no longer safe in Europe and escaped through Italy to an ocean liner bound for Argentina. Kor). Mengele arrived in Argentina in 1949, a country that was ruled by the popular dictator Juan Peron.
The right-wing ruler had already cultivated a friendly relationship with Nazis in Europe, as well as with those who lived in the German expatriate community in Argentina. Mengele was able to slip unnoticed into such a setting with ease and had soon established a network of Nazi devotees who were willing to help him assume a new identity in South America. Mengele was to spend the next thirty years on the run from international authorities.
While he received aid and shelter from the neo-Nazi network in Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil, Mengele was also inadvertently assisted by a lack of commitment on the part of the West German government to bring the Angel of Death to justice, and a similar lack of commitment on the part of the United States Justice Department. (Astor,137)The Israeli government had no such lack of commitment to his capture, trial and execution. In fact, Israeli agents were close to seizing Mengele on a handful of occasions in the early-to-mid 1960s.
However, international uproar over Israels kidnapping of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann from Argentina in 1960, and pressing security issues involving hostile Arab states, sidetracked Israeli efforts to pursue Mengele. (Kor). While Nazi-hunters such as Simon Wiesenthal continued to press for Mengeles capture and execution, the notorious Nazi doctor seemed to drop off the radar screen of most international governments. Interest in his case was suddenly reinvigorated when, on January 17, 1985, a group of Auschwitz survivors returned to the death camp to memorialize friends and family who had perished there.
A week later, many of the same survivors gathered in Jerusalem to try Mengele in absentia. The event was televised around the globe, and for four consecutive nights, the airwaves were filled with images of survivors recounting their gruesome, barbaric treatment at the hands of Josef Mengele. Within less than a month, both the United States Justice Department and the Israeli government had announced that the case of Josef Mengele was officially reopened and strategies were redrawn to bring the Nazi doctor to justice. (Kor).
However, these fledgling efforts were stopped in their tracks when, on May 31, 1985, West German police raided the home of Hans Sedlmeier, a lifelong friend of Mengeles, and his contact person in Europe. The police seized several letters from Mengele and other German expatriates living with him in Brazil, and Brazilian authorities were immediately notified. Within a week Brazilian police had identified the families that had harbored Mengele, and through them were able to locate the grave where Mengeles body had been buried after a drowning accident in 1979.
Forensic tests on the skeletal remains confirmed that the body was indeed that of Josef Mengele. (Posner & Ware). Survivors of Mengeles treatment who had longed all of their post-war lives to confront this cruel and demonic man denied that this could indeed be him. Times essay said Mengele defiled science¦ He defiled Germany. (Astor,278. ). Many still live for the day when they will be able to extract justice for their suffering from the man who was responsible for so much of it, both during and after the war.
At last, Mengele has escaped earthly judgment through that act over which he sought to wield total control of death itself. The horror of the angel of death was still felt and lived on a daily basis long after his death and after the war had ended. Almost all of his victims that survived his atrocious deeds lived life with ever physical and sometimes psychological disabilities. Dr. Josef Mengele was truly the living incarnation of the angel of death his deeds are unmatched even today as some of the worst event to ever occur in human history.