Josef Mengele Essay

1946 Words 8 Pages
Josef Mengele

Fifteen years ago the world let out a sigh of relief with the discovery of 208 bones and a few rags. For over forty years survivors of the Nazi death camps known as Auschwitz were haunted by the vision of the handsome, well dressed man with a caring smile who pointed his white-gloved finger either left or right deciding who lived (at least for the moment) and who died. Those who passed this man and survived have always remembered the man known as the Angel of Death. These are the people who question the identification of these bones as those of SS doctor Josef Mengele. Josef Mengele was the eldest son of Karl and Walburga Mengele of Günzburg, Bavaria. Karl Mengele ran a machine tools factory and often put his
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Mengele was sent back to Germany to recover and was awarded an Iron Cross First Degree, Iron Cross Second Degree and the standard decoration for service against the Red armies (28). It was after he recovered that Mengele volunteered as camp doctor at an installation in the southwest of Poland known as Auschwitz (29). Dr. Mengele took his new position with the stated mission to perform research on human genetics. His mentor, Verschuer, had secured a grant through the German Research Council to fund Mengele's work (Lynott screen 2). Dr. Mengele wanted to create a Germanic super-race by unlocking genetic engineering secrets and devising methods for eradicating inferior gene strands from the human population (screen 2). His most passionate interest soon became twins. Twins were the perfect specimens because one twin could act as the control while the other was endlessly experimented on. This passion is what drove Mengele to the arrival ramps at Auschwitz. In just over a year that Mengele was at the camp he is known to be present for at least 74 arrivals (Gilbert 582), but with 70 to 90 percent of new arrivals being sent immediately to the gas chamber after stepping off the train (Lynott screen 1) who knows how many other arrivals Mengele was at that no one has survived to recall. Mengele's selection process was very systematic. Young men and women aged eighteen
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