Josef Mengele

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by gemcc14
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Social Studies
World War II

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Josef Mengele

Josef Mengele the famous Nazi doctor was assigned to work at the death camp Auschwitz. The nature for his experiments was unknown, but he was searching for the secret to heredity and genetics. Mengele was trying to help create the Nazi ideal, which was to have Aryan mothers have birth to two perfect Aryan twins. He was a soulless man who would have large groups of people killed for having lice or for being too short for his liking. This decision making process started at the ramp which the prisoners walked off the train. With a flick of his riding crop he would decide in the prisoner was to be sent to the gas chambers or to hard labor. Mengele was also on the lookout for people with unique hereditary traits such as twins, dwarfs, giants, people with cub foot, or people with two different colored eyes. When the twins were removed they were taken away from their parents unless they were too young, in which their mother was allowed to stay with them to ensure health. They were then tattooed with an identification number and showed to their barracks. These twins received special treatment because they had to be kept health for Mengele to get accurate information from his experiments. They were allowed extra rations, their own clothing, exempt from hard labor, and were spared from punishments. The children were not afraid of Josef Mengele, which was to his advantage. He was known as “Uncle Mengele”, because he would bring the children candy and chocolates. They trusted him which allowed him to do his experiments without much objection. The children did not have to be experimented on every day. The identification number, which was their tattoo, was called after breakfast and then they were escorted to the laboratory. Mengele did a vast number of experiments. One was that each twin was stripped and laid out on a table to have their measurements taken. This process could take several hours when Mengele was being extremely precise. Large amounts of blood were drawn frequently, sometimes enough to kill the patient. Along with drawing blood, Mengele also transfused blood from one twin to their sibling. Many died because the blood was either rejected or an infection formed. Chemicals were injected into patients eyed to try and change the original color of the iris to blue. This resulted in severe pain, infections, and blindness. Mengele would also inject unknown substances into his patients, along with diseases such as typhus and tuberculosis. This mainly resulted in death. Surgeries were performed daily without anesthesia to remove organs, castrations, and amputations. Finally, Josef Mengele purposely killed twins to perform detailed autopsies. They would be injected with chloroform which caused near immediate blood coagulation and death. He would then compare and contrast the siblings to try and understand their genetics. Josef Mengele was a brilliant scientist who unfortunately lacked any traces of humanity.


Josef Mengele was born on March 16, 1911, in Gunzburg, Germany. He was the eldest son and was promptly put into school to harness his abilities. Josef earned a Ph.D. in physical anthropology from the University of Munich. His success in school lead to a job as the assistant of Dr. Otmar von Verschuer, who was figure widely known for his research on twins. In 1937 Mengele joined the Nazi Party where he served with the SS or Schutzstaffel. Josef was wounded in battle and returned to Germany and was transferred to Auschwitz on May 30, 1943. Josef Mengele experimented and killed prisoners until 1949 when his family aided his emigration to South America. He suffered a stroke and drowned while swimming off shore in Bertioga, Brazil, on February 7, 1979. Josef had eluded his captors for 34 years. In 1985 German police located his grave and removed his corpse. Brazilian forensic experts positively identified the remains as Josef Mengele. In 1992, DNA evidence confirmed what the forensic specialists had concluded.


Rolf Mengele on meeting his father, Dr. Josef Mengele

Josef Mengele



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