Mengele

Mengele

There are few people that intrigue and disgust me simultaneously in similar measures, but Mengele is one of them. I deliberately am not calling him Doctor because he failed to honor or even pledge to the Hippocratic Oath.

One line of that oath states the following “I will use treatment to help the sick according to my ability and judgment, but never with a view to injury and wrong-doing.”

oath

I will not go into great details regarding his evil acts because so much has already been written about it.

But even in his ‘good’ acts there was a menacing threat connected to it. One of his survivors Renee Firestone(nee Weinfeld) recalled in the documentary “The last laugh” how one time Mengele had examined her and had diagnosed an issue with her tonsils. He advised Renee to get that seen to whenever she got a chance. Shortly after he murdered Renee’s sisters while conducting experiments on her.

Mengele was trained as a physician by Otmar Freiherr von Verschuer, a German born member of the Dutch nobble family Verschuer,( originally van der Schuer). But like Mengele there was nothing noble about this man, and like Mengele he also got away with his crimes.

(Von Verschuer pictured at the rear of the photograph below)schuer

Verschuer worked at the Institute for Hereditary Biology and Racial Hygiene in Frankfurt, where Mengele would become one of his students Verschuer was a leading scientist widely known for his research with twins. In in 1927. he had already become head of department for human genetics at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Anthropology, Human Heredity, and Eugenics.

He would also rely at ‘research’ conducted by his former pupil. Research taken from the experiments by Mengele in Auschwitz. In 1944 Verschuer talked about  Mengele’s help in providing  the KWIfA(Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Anthropology, Human Heredity, and Eugenics.) with  “scientific material” from Auschwitz.

“My assistant, Dr. Mengele (M.D., Ph.D.) has joined me in this branch of research. He is presently employed as Hauptsturmführer and camp physician in the concentration camp at Auschwitz. Anthropological investigations on the most diverse racial groups of this concentration camp are being carried out with permission of the SS Reichsführer Himmler; the blood samples are being sent to my laboratory for analysis.”

Mengele in return would rely on the ‘aid’ of  medical professionals among the prisoner population , when I say ‘aid’ it was really a matter of survival of those who were forced to help him Dr. Miklos Nyiszli was one of those medical professionals forced to assist Mengele. He wrote a book called “A Doctor’s Eyewitness Account” about his experiences.

Although many other ‘doctors’ at Auschwitz were reluctant to be present or to take part in the selections. Mengele took great joy in it.

selections

The only bit of consolation we have is that although he did escape justice, he suffered a stroke and drowned while swimming at a vacation resort near Bertioga, Brazil, on February 7, 1979.

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Sources

https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/josef-mengele

https://www.yadvashem.org/education/educational-materials/lesson-plans/auschwitz-birkenau-learning.html

https://candlesholocaustmuseum.org/file_download/inline/25d72a3f-bb51-4c0c-9c72-ac1ed390e57e#:~:text=Ren%C3%A9e%20Firestone%20(n%C3%A9e%20Weinfeld)%20was,Mau%2D%20ritius%20and%20Julia%20Weinfeld.

 

A.B.C- The Boys from Argentina

ABC

“Mengele and Eichman tour
I was here last year due to my father’s Nazi hunt in the 50s, lovely small Restaurant, even met a man in his 90s who knew many Nazis. Even had dinner in the corner with him where Mengele and Eichman once sat. You wont find anything from the past inside like old tables or chairs,but the idea what folks were talking about back then was intriguing”

The above text is from a restaurant review posted on Tripadvisor in September 2018. The restaurant is the A.B.C restaurant in Lavalle 545, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

abc rest

I was always surprised where there were never any sanctions against Argentina, and other South American countries, but Argentina appears to have harboured and still does provide a safe haven for escaped Nazi war criminals.

The A.B.C restaurant is a prime example where Nazis dined and wined in plain sight. In 1950 Adolf Eichmann escaped with help from the Red Cross to Argentina m in 1952 his family followed him. Eichmann changed his name to Ricardo Klement.

ricardo

Joseph Mengele also moved to Argentina after he had been hiding ,more or less in plain sight, in Germany, In 1949 he fled to Argentina via Genoa in Italy, using the alias Helmut Gregor, also assisted by the Red Cross via a passport and Visa he obtained from them. Now I don’t want to be too critical of the Red Cross because the whole civil administration was a chaos in the ;ate 40s in Germany.

Mengele though soon started using his own name again, be it a with a slight Spanish angle to it as Jose Mengele.

Somewhere in 1953 both men met in the German style A.B.C restaurant where they held a party for another Nazi, the propagandist Johann von Leers, who worked for Goebbels and also wrote propaganda for Juan Perón. von Leers was moving to Egypt , so Mengele and Eichmann threw him some sort of goodbye party.

There were so many Nazis who received refuge in Argentina, there is a small town called Bariloche, which made international headlines in 1995  when it became known as a haven for Nazi war criminals, such as the former SS Hauptsturmführer Erich Priebke and SS officer Reinhard Kopps, known in Argentina as Juan Maler. Priebke had been the director of the German School of Bariloche for many years.

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Sources

BBC

https://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/the-long-road-to-eichmann-s-arrest-a-nazi-war-criminal-s-life-in-argentina-a-754486.html

 

 

 

 

The evil of Mengele.

mengele

I could fill this blog with pictures of the experiments Joseph Mengele conducted in Auschwitz, but I think most of the readers would not be able to stomach the images. I know I can’t ,therefore I am just going to quote some eye witness reports to illustrate how truly evil this man was. He had a particular interest in twins.

Vera Kriegel

Vera and her twin sister Olga were only five years old when they were taken from their village in Czechoslovakia and deported to  Auschwitz.

. “I was looking at a whole wall of human eyes. A wall of blue eyes, brown eyes, green eyes. These eyes they were staring at me like a collection of butterflies and I fell down on the floor.”

In one experiment Vera and her sister Olga and more than 100 other twins were given injections of bacteria which causes Noma disease also known as cancrum oris which is an infection of the mouth or genitals, which causes boils and often turns gangrenous and has a high mortality rate.

Miklós Nyiszli

Miklós Nyiszli testified  thatt on one occasion , Mengele personally killed fourteen twins in one night by injecting chloroform in to the heart. If one twin died of disease, Mengele would then kill the other twin, in order  that comparative reports could be prepared after their deaths.

Vera Alexander

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Vera Alexander testifies in the Eichmann trial, she recalled one experiment by Mengele.  He sewed the hands of two gypsy twins together,a sin he sewed one hand of one child to the hand of the other child.

The truly sickening thing is that he died a free man and had lived quite a comfortable life after the war.

mengel family

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Sources

https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn1001717

https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-30933718

Painting for Mengele.

Painting

When you look at some bizarre connections in History, you cannot escape the fact that life sometimes has a ironic way of weaving a tapestry of coincidences.

One of Hitler’s favourite movies was the Walt Disney classic “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” released in 1937.

Disney

One of the main animators of the movie was Art Babbitt. an animator who joined the Disney studio in 1932. He  was born to a Jewish family in Omaha, Nebraska.

But that’s not where this tapestry of coincidences,or even fate, stops.

Dina Gottliebová was born in Brno, Czechoslovakia on January 21, 1923 .She was raised by her Mother, Johanna Schawl, a lone parent . Her mother had left Dina’s father when she was only 4 months old.

When Snow white and the Seven dwarfs was released, Dina must have seen the movie at least 7 times.

In 1939, when the Germans invaded her homeland, Dina was living in Prague, where she had enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts. In 1942  Dina’s mother received a summons that the Jews were being moved. Dina  left school and volunteered to be shipped out with her mother to , Theresienstadt, in Czechoslovakia.

Thersien

She was actually sent to Theresienstadt on Jan. 21, 1942, her 19th birthday. Dina and her mother stayed there until Sept. 7, 1943 when they were among 5,000 people transferred to Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland.

In 1944, while in Auschwitz, Dina was chosen by Mengele to draw portraits of Roma Gypsy prisoners .Mengele wished to capture the Roma’s skin coloration better than he could with camera and film at that time. Dina agreed if her own mother’s life were spared as well,Mengele agreed.

One of the people she painted was called Celine. Dina says of painting her muse back in 1944.

“She was very sad and I said, ‘Are you sick?’”  “Celine  said, ‘My baby just died.’ It was a 2-month-old baby and she couldn’t get anything to feed the baby and didn’t have any milk. And Celine couldn’t eat anything. We had black bread with something in it—too much bran or something that made people sick—and I said, ‘Well, can I help with something?’ She said, ‘You can get some white bread.’”

Dina asked Mengele for some white bread. He delivered and Dina sneaked it to Celine, but unfortunately Celine did not survive the death camp. (I believe the portrait below is of Celine but I could not verify it, But it is definitely one of Dina’s paintings)

celine portarit

Both Dina and her Mother survived the Holocaust.Dina moved to the US after the war.

However this is not where this tapestry of life stops. There was to be one more twist to Dina’s life. On April 27,1949, Dina married Art Babbitt. The man who was the main animator of the movie she had watched so many times.

Their marriage didn’t last though. They got divorced in 1963. Dina died aged 86 on July 29,2009, in Santa Cruz California

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Sources

Goodtimes.sc

The Jewish News of Northern California

IMDb.

 

 

 

Mengele’s arrival in Auschwitz

2018-05-24

On May 23rd 1943 Dr Joseph Mengele started his ‘work’ at Auschwitz. I am not going to say too much about this evil personified individual.

He particularly found pleasure in working in Auschwitz

The Doctors in Auschwitz were all scheduled according a work rota for the selections when new victims arrived by train, but Mengele was the only one to volunteer for the selections and would sometimes ask if he could take over a slot in the rota.

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He came from a very privileged background and had a Phd  in Anthropology as well as a Doctorate in Medicines.He made weekly visits to the hospital barracks and sent to the gas chambers any prisoners who had not recovered after two weeks in bed.

Auschwitz gave him the opportunity to conduct experiments in order to continue his anthropology studies. The Nazi regime allowed him to experiment in the vilest of way without impunity.

He was especially interested in twins.They had to undergo weekly examinations and measurements of their physical attributes by Mengele himself or one of his  assistants.  Experiments performed on twins included unnecessary amputation of limbs, intentionally infecting one twin with typhus or other diseases, and transfusing the blood of one twin into the other.

josef-mengele-twins-experiment.jpg

He was  transferred to Gross-Rosen concentration camp in Lower Silesia  January 17, 1945, bringing along  2 boxes of examples and records of his experiments.

He managed to escape Gross-Rosen on 18 February, a week before the Soviets arrived, disguised as a Wehrmacht soldier .

He  managed capture by  the  Allies until June 1945 , when he was picked up by an American patrol. He was traveling under his own name at the time, but the wanted criminal list hadn’t been efficiently distributed and also he did not have the SS blood group tattoo.so  the Americans let him go. Mengele spent some time working as a farmhand before deciding to skip out of the country in 1949.

On 17 April 1949. withe the aide of  a network of former SS members, Mengele traveled to Genoa, where he managed to get  a passport under the alias “Helmut Gregor” from the International Committee of the Red Cross. He sailed to Argentina in July.

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Despite many attempts to catch him he was able to elude justice. I have always been skeptical about this, I think that the allied never really wanted to catch him because if they did, it would have been easy enough to do so.He was more or less hiding in plain sight in Argentina.

He eventually drowned in 1979 while swimming in the Atlantic ocean, after suffering a stroke.

wanted

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Source

Yad Vashem

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do cry for me Argentina- The other side of Evita Peron

eva2

The former first lady of Argentina has been accused of accepting Nazi treasures stolen from wealthy families during the Holocaust in return for using her country as a safe haven. 

According to a new book, Eva Peron and her husband, former president Juan Peron, kept quiet about the number of Nazis who were hiding out in Argentina after the Second World War.

peron

Among those who fled to the South American country was Adolf Eichmann, a key orchestrator of the concentration camps.

Germany Eichmann Files

He lived under a false name and worked for Mercedes Benz until 1960, when he was kidnapped by Mossad agents and taken to Israel.He was later faced trial and was hanged for the war crimes he committed.

Josef Mengele, the Nazi ‘Angel of Death’ responsible for human experiments on Holocaust victims, also found refuge in Argentina and lived in South America until his death in 1979 at the age of 67.

mengele

In ‘The Politically Incorrect Guide to Latin America,’ authors Leandro Narloch and Duda Teixeira wrote: ‘It is still suspected that among her [Eva Peron’s] possessions, there were pieces of Nazi treasure that came from rich Jewish families killed in concentration camps.
evita

‘Peron himself even spoke of goods of ”German and Japanese origin” that the Argentine government had appropriated,’ they added.Switzerland is said to have launched an investigation into whether Argentina deposited stolen Nazi loot in Swiss banks after the war.

In 1947, then First Lady Eva Peron included a brief trip to Switzerland during a publicity tour of Europe to try and boost the image of her husband’s regime abroad.

According to historians, she may have opened at least one secret Geneva account to stash funds and valuables she allegedly received from Nazis in exchange for Argentine passports and visas.

Records  emerging from Swiss archives and the investigations of Nazi hunters, an unpublicized side of Evita’s world tour was coordinating the network for helping Nazis relocate in Argentina.

This new evidence of Evita’s cozy ties with prominent Nazis corroborates the long-held suspicion that she and her husband, Gen. Juan Peron, laid the groundwork for a bloody resurgence of fascism across Latin America in the 1970s and ’80s.

Besides blemishing the Evita legend, the evidence threatens to inflict more damage on Switzerland’s image for plucky neutrality. The international banking center is still staggering from disclosures about its wartime collaboration with Adolf Hitler and Swiss profiteering off his Jewish victims.

The archival records indicate that Switzerland’s assistance to Hitler’s henchmen didn’t stop with the collapse of the Third Reich.

And the old Swiss-Argentine-Nazi connection reaches to the present in another way. Spanish “superjudge” Baltasar Garzon is seeking to open other Swiss records on bank accounts controlled by Argentine military officers who led the so-called “Dirty War” that killed and “disappeared” tens of thousands of Argentines between 1976-83.

The second wife of Juan Peron, Evita was given the official title of ‘Spiritual Leader of the Nation’ by the Argentine Congress before her death from cancer in 1952 at the age of 33 and is still regarded as a national heroin.

Eva speech

 

 

The Ovitz family- The 7 dwarves of Auschwitz

This not a sequel to the fairy tale of the Grimm Brothers “Snow White and the seven dwarfs”  In many ways the story is more incredible then Snow white, the Disney version was Hitler’s favourite movie.This is the story of the The Ovitz family who through an ironic twist of fate survived Auschwitz, they were saved by one of the most evil men who ever lived, Dr Josef Mengele.

war_m_1687891a

The Ovitz family were a family of Romanian Jewish actors/traveling musicians who survived imprisonment at the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II. Most of them were dwarfs. They were the largest family of dwarfs ever recorded and were the largest family (twelve family members from a 15-month-old baby to a 58-year-old woman) to enter Auschwitz and to survive intact.

The Ovitz family, from the village of Rozavlea in Transylvania, was the largest recorded family of dwarves: a dwarf father who sired 10 children, seven of them dwarves. Perla, born in 1921, was the youngest. In that remote part of Romania in the early 20th century, it was difficult for anyone to eke a living from the land and livestock, and impossible for someone standing less than 3ft tall

all family

Throughout history, dwarves had been entertainers, often part of a circus or vaudeville show. But the Ovitzs wanted the stage all to themselves. They appropriately named their musical ensemble the Lilliput Troupe, and for 15 years had a flourishing career in central Europe. Their two-hour show consisted of popular hits of the day, skits and music. Perla had a tiny, four-string pink guitar that looked like a toy, her sisters Rozika and Franziska played on quarter-sized violins, Frieda struck on the cimbalom, Micki played both a half-sized cello and accordion, while the energetic Elizabeth took on the drums. Their elder brother Avram was the scriptwriter, actor and general manager.

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The Ovitzs lived a communal life in one big house in the village. When any one of them got married, the spouse moved in and joined the enterprise. While the dwarves basked in the limelight, the average-height family members worked behind the curtains as stagehands and wardrobe mistresses. It was the only all-dwarf ensemble with a full show of their own in the history of entertainment.

When the Nazis came to power, the Ovitzs were doubly doomed: under the Aktion T-4 euthanasia programme, the Germans set out to kill people who were physically or mentally disabled, whose lives were considered “unworthy of living”, “a burden on society”; and, as Jews, the Ovitzs were the target of the Final Solution.

Though the Ovitzes were observant Jews, they obtained papers which omitted the fact that they were Jewish and continued going on their tours until 1944. In May , 1944 all twelve family members were deported to Auschwitz.

The-Ovitzs-leaving-the-ca-008

On 19 May 1944, they were brought to the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp because they were Jews. But, by a twist of fate, their disability played for them. It was rare that one person from an entire family survived the camp, let alone two, but all 12 members of the Ovitz family – the youngest a baby boy just 18 months old, the oldest his 58-year-old dwarf aunt – emerged alive.

Hoping to please Mengele by finding him oddities among the incoming prisoners, the Auschwitz guards immediately woke the sleeping doctor when they discovered the Ovitz family on the inbound train.

Josef_Mengele

Dr. Josef Mengele was on a twisted quest to study human genetics. Several doctors stationed at Nazi concentration camps were pursuing similar research, utilizing the horrifyingly endless stream of soon-to-be executed prisoners as test subjects.

Of these doctors, Mengele was the absolute worst and his experiments on humans were arguably the most nightmarish incidents in World War II’s annals.

Nazi-Eugenics-poster

(Nazi eugenics poster)

Mengele particularly wanted to prove that Germans were genetically superior to the groups being killed at the concentration camps. His “proof” stemmed from collecting “evidence” that Jews, gypsies, and other ethnic groups possessed degenerative DNA and its subsequent physiological traits. He considered dwarfism one of these indicative traits and had been collecting the single dwarfs that were occasionally shipped to his camp on the Nazi death trains.

The Jewish Ovitz family of dwarfs quickly became his pet project. He saved all of its members (and several of their Romanian neighbors who claimed to be relatives) from the gas chambers. But only to force them to endure a series of horrific and humiliating experiments.

Wanting to spare the group of dwarfs (because they were harder to find than other kinds of test subjects, such as twins), Mengele arranged to have special living quarters built for them, so they could be monitored. To keep them healthy for his human experimentation, he arranged for them to have more hygienic living conditions, better food and their own bedclothes. Mengele even allowed them to keep their own clothes, and forced the taller members of the group to carry the dwarfs to the experimentation sites.

Not only were they allowed to keep their own clothes, but Mengele preferred that they dress up for their “appointments” with him, stage make-up and all. To the regular prisoners of the camps, the costumed dwarfs being escorted around the blood-soaked facilities seemed like hallucinations.

costumes

Over the course of their time at Auschwitz, all of the members of the family (short and tall, blood-related, related by marriage, and fake related) were subjected to almost daily blood tests, bone marrow sampling, blinding chemical tests, constant teeth and hair pulling, ear drip torture, and repeated showcases where they were stripped in front of audiences and researchers during lectures and analysis.

Things were even worse for the women and children of the family. They were subjected to additional gynecological and developmental inventorying.

Eighteen-month-old Shimshon Ovitz was put through the worst ordeals because he had taller parents and was prematurely born; Mengele drew blood from the veins behind his ears and from his fingers. The Ovitzes also witnessed two newcomer dwarfs being killed and boiled so their bones could be exhibited in a museum. Mengele also filmed them; this film was not found after the war, and it is possible that he kept it when he fled.

They expected to be killed after Mengele had finished his experiments, but they lived to see the liberation of Auschwitz on January 27, 1945. The Red Army took them to the Soviet Union where they lived in a refugee camp for some time before they were released.

The Ovitzes traveled on foot for seven months to their home village. They found their home looted, moved first to the town of Sighet and later to Belgium. In May 1949, they immigrated to Israel, settled in Haifa, and began their tours again, being quite successful and packing large concert halls. In 1955, they retired and bought a cinema hall.

Descendants of the dwarf men of the family were born taller; the women did not become pregnant due to their small pelvises. The firstborn of the dwarfs, Rozika Ovitz, died in 1984 at the age of 98. The last adult dwarf survivor of the family, Perla Ovitz, died in 2001.

rip

In March 2013 Warwick Davis presented an episode of the ITV series Perspectives: “Warwick Davis – The Seven Dwarfs of Auschwitz” where he explores the story of the Ovitz family, including an interview with Perla Ovitz recorded in 1999 recounting how they survived the Nazi concentration camp of Auschwitz and the experiments of Josef Mengele.

 

https://dirkdeklein.wordpress.com/2016/04/08/forgotten-history-the-t-4-holocaust-victimsthe-killing-of-the-disabled/

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