Holocaust Survivors and Remembrance Project: "Forget You Not"™
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Meet the Notorious Dr. Josef Mengele

Dr Josef Mengele, known as the Angel of Death, was a Nazi German SS officer and a physician in Auschwitz Nazi concentration camp. He gained notoriety chiefly for being one of the SS physicians who supervised the selection of arriving transports of prisoners, determining who was to be killed and who was to become a forced laborer, and for performing human experiments of dubious scientific value on camp inmates including attempts to change eye color by injecting chemicals into children's eyes, various amputations of limbs, and shock treatments.

Most of those Mengele experimented on died, either due to the experiments or later infections. On several occasions, he killed subjects simply to be able to dissect them afterwards.


At the end of the war, Mengele was captured but paradoxically released from a U.S. detention center and fled abroad. He remained in hiding in Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil until his death of an apparent drowning in 1979.

Dr. Mengele's home in Paraguay.

Dr. Mengele's home in Hohenau, Itapua, Paraguay. Photo taken August 2007.

Dr. Mengele, Auschwitz

Dr. MengeleMengele promoted medical experimentation on inmates, especially dwarfs and twins. He is said to have supervised an operation by which two Gypsy children were sewn together to create Siamses twins; the hands of the children became badly infected where the veins had been resected. (Snyder)

"The only firsthand evidence on these experiments comes from a handful of survivors and from a Jewish doctor, Miklos Nyiszli, who worked under Mengele as a pathologist. Mengele subjected his victims - twins and dwarfs aged two and above - to clinical examinations, blood tests, X rays, and anthropological measurements.

In the case of the twins, he considered them to be the perfect specimens as he could use one to observe while torture the other. He first drew sketches of each twin, for comparison. Then, he injected his victims with various substances, dripping chemicals into their eyes (apparently in an attempt to change their color).

Dr. Mengele's experiments on children

He then killed them himself by injecting chloroform into their hearts, so as to carry out comparative pathological examinations of their internal organs. Mengele's purpose, according to Dr. Nyiszli, was to establish the genetic cause for the birth of twins, in order to facilitate the formulation of a program for doubling the birthrate of the 'Aryan' race. The experiments on twins affected 180 persons, adults and children.

Mengele also carried out a large number of experiments in the field of contageous diseases, (typhoid and tuberculosis) to find out how human beings of different races withstood these diseases. He used Gypsy twins for this purpose. Mengele's experiments combined scientific (perhaps even important) research with the racist and ideological aims of the Nazi regime which made use of government offices, scientific institutions, and concentration camps.

From the scanty information available, it appears that his research differed from the other medical experiments in that the victims' death was programmed into his experiments and formed a central element in it."
(Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, 964)


Dr. Mengele

Dr. Mengele

Dr. Mengele

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Dr. Mengele relaxing

Dr. Mengele (right) relaxing at Solahutte retreat outside of Auschwitz with Richard Baer (commandant of the Auschwitz Camp) and with other members of the "Master Race."


Last picture of Mengele
Last known picture of Mengele

.Mengele drowned in 1979 off a São Paulo cost, in the sea side town of Bertioga, Brazil, after suffering a stroke while swimming.
.Retired policeman Expedito Dias Romao was the officer who found Mengele's body.
.Mengele died bearing the false name of Wolfgang Gerhard who was a German friend that lived temporarily in Brazil and who, in 1978 died in Austria.