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The Angel of Death

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Tessa Kroells

on 27 May 2011

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Transcript of The Angel of Death

Twin Studies The Angel of Death Early Life In 1935 Mengele earned his PhD in Physical Anthropology at the University of Munich. At the Institute for Heredity Biology and Racial Hygiene in Frankfurt, Mengele became the assistant of Dr. Otmar Freiherr von Verschuer. Verschuer was a leading scientist known for his research in genetics, mostly interested in the study of twins. Many believe this is where Mengele developed his fascination with twins. He also studied under Theodor Mollison and Eugen Fischer, who experimented on the Herero tribe in Africa. Josef Mengele was born on March 16, 1911 in Gunzburg, Bavaria. He was the oldest of three children, with two younger brothers, Karl and Alois. His father owned the Karl Mengele & Sons company, which produced farm machinery.
On July 28, 1939, Mengele married Irene Schonbein. They had a son, Rolf, who was born on March 11, 1941. Irene moved to Buenos Aires, and they divorced.
On July 25, 1958, Mengele remarried to Martha Mengele, who was the widow of Karl, Mengele's brother. They had no children. Military Service In 1937 Mengele joined the Nazi Party, and he recieved his medical degree in 1938. He volunteered to the medical service of the Waffen-SS, where he distinguished himself as a soldier. He was awarded for his efforts at the Ukrainian Front with the Iron Cross Second Class. In 1942 he pulled two German soldiers from a burning tank, and was awarded the Iron Cross First Class, the Black Badge for the Wounded, and the Medal for the Care of the German People. He was wounded during this campaign and couldn't return to combat. He met von Verschuer again at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Anthropology. He was promoted to SS captain in April 1943, right before he was transferred to Auschwitz. Time in Auschwitz Mengele was especially interested in twins. He had them moved into better barracks, where he gave them chocolate and introduced himself as "Uncle Mengele." He did many experiments on the twins, such as blood transfusions between the twins, surgeries without anesthesia, reaction to different stimuli, injections of poisons and germs, sex change operations, removal of limbs or organs, and impregnations. In one case, Mengele tried to create conjoined twins by sewing two twins together by the hands. The backs of their hands became severely infected. Once the experiments were over, the twins were killed and dissected. If one twin died as a result from the experiments, the other was immediately killed, so that they could compare the autopsies. Mengele was also interested in heterochromia, a condition where the two eyes are different colors. He would inject dyes and chemicals into the childrens' eyes to see if they would change color. Mengele also experimented on other types of people- such as dwarfs, giants, pregnant women. After Auschwitz After the SS abandoned Auschwitz, Mengele joined a medical unit led by Hans Otto Kahler. This unit was taken as war prisoners by the Americans. Mengele was released, under the name "Fritz Hollmann." He worked as a farmhand until his family helped him get to South America, where he settled in Argentina. In 1960, Adolf Eichmann was captured, which scared Mengele. He moved to Paraguay and then to Brazil. On February 7th, 1979, while swimming at a resort near Bertioga, Brazil, Mengele had a stroke while swimming and drowned. He was buried in Sao Paolo with the name "Wolfgang Gerhard." In 1985, German police, working with a friend of the Mengele's, found Mengele's grave and exhumed his body. Forensic experts identified the remains as Josef Mengele. DNA confirmed this in 1992. Mengele eluded his captors for 34 years. Tessa Kroells
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