People sometimes think that Mengele was the only ‘Doctor’ in Auschwitz, but in fact there were more then a 30 physicians working there.
Mengele however was the most notorious one, he also seemed to be the most enthusiastic sicentist, He had a particularly evil mind. I am not going to talk about the experiments because I have written about those before as have others.
I am more interested in that evil twisted mind, a mind that could show ‘kindness’ and extreme evil at the same time.
One survivor once said of Mengele.
“He was capable of being so kind to the children, to have them become fond of him, to bring them sugar, to think of small details in their daily lives, and to do things we would genuinely admire.And then, next to that, the crematoria smoke, and these children, tomorrow or in a half-hour, he is going to send them there.”
In the documentary The Last Laugh ,Renee Firestone recalled an encounter she had with Mengele where he examined her and her sister Klara. Mengele had seen Renee had some issues with her tonsils and told her that get that seen to whenever she got the chance, at the same time he send her sister Klara to the gas chambers.
Even when he showed up at the selections when the transports arrived some survivors recalled “the impression of a gentle and cultured man who had cheerful expression on his face, almost like he had fun, he was very playful.”
On the other hand he got turn extremely evil within seconds, especially when his ‘rules’ were broken . One time a mother refused to be separated from her teenage daughter and scratched the face of an SS guard who was tasked to enforce Mengele’s decision. Mengele drew his gun and shot both the woman and her daughter. Still fuming with anger, he ordered that all the people from that transport whom he had previously selected as workers were to be be send to the gas chamber, to be murdered.
On question I often ask myself is if the Nazis had never come to power, what kind of physician would Mengele have been? I believe that the evil he displayed in the camps he worked was already in him, the Nazis only gave him the opportunity to carry out his evil acts and experiments ‘legally’.
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