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.”
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)
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.
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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