The Angel of Death
Evil is not a thing, not a tangible substance. It lives inside the host, building and festering beneath the surface. Iniquity is masked by false judgment: soft brown hair, blue-water eyes, a long, pristine lab coat hitting just below the knee. How could evil ever fill such handsome skin? Dr.
Josef Mengele was responsible for the deaths of thousands of men, woman, and children through repulsive means of human experimentation during the Holocaust. Mengele was a monster inside a man’s body, subject to the judgment of being humane, simply because of a doctor’s coat and a blue-eyed smile. Born into a middle class family on March 16th, 1911, Josef Mengele showed signs of gifted intelligence from a young age. While obtaining his degree in human genetics at Frankfurt University of Hereditary Biology and Racial Hygiene, Mengele applied for a position in the Nazi party, where he was quickly accepted. He exerted a passion for the military not many others had, moving him rapidly up in German ranks. Like in human biology, Mengele also showed potential for the Nazi party.
It wasn’t until 1940 when he was wounded in combat and determined unfit for military fighting. His injury left him empty and anxious, a new hunger for contributing to the Nazi Regime boiling inside him. He began to work furiously at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute (KWI) for Anthropology, Human Genetics, and Eugenics under the guidance of his former mentor, von Verschuer. Within a year of working there Mengele received several promotions, the most valuable of them all being his transfer to Auschwitz Concentration Camp, where he would later go on to destroy the lives of thousands. He was by no means the top physician at the camp; he merely began his time at Auschwitz as the medical advisor for the “Gypsy Camp.
” However, following the liquidation of “Gypsy Camp,” his hopes and dreams unfolded before him: he was promoted to Chief Camp Physician of Auschwitz II under Dr. Eduard Wirths’ authority. His strange infatuation with the vast biology of twins increased substantially when he became Chief Physician. Finally having free reign to maim and murder his victims through his experimentations, Mengele became ravenous for his research. Even when off-duty he would appear at large train arrivals to search for twins or those with deformities ranging from Heterochromia to a hereditary limp.
Approximately 3,000 twins were ripped from the arms of their frightened mothers to be put through experiments (Rosenburg, Mengele’s). His handsome, trusting facade enabled him to lure in his victims with ease, something that many who witnessed his horrors could attest to. Mengele’s monstrous experimentations began with the Gypsy twins. In one night he ruthlessly rounded up fourteen pairs of twins and dissected them all (Josef). The dissections were only a small part of his gruesome work at Auschwitz: He injected lethal substances and unknown bacterial strands into their bloodstreams; he sewed their veins together, removed their organs, broke their bones, performed sex change operations, and often starved them.
“He was merciless,” as Eva Kor, a survivor of Mengele’s experiments, stated. “I was given five injections, my arms and my legs were swollen, huge size. Mengele and Dr. Konig and three other doctors came in the next morning. They looked at my fever chart, and Dr. Mengele said, laughingly, ‘Too bad, she is so young.
She has only two weeks to live (Twins).'” The horrors did not stop there: if one twin died, the other would be murdered soon after with an injection to the heart, killing them instantly. Man-slaughter, charming etiquette, twisted experimenting, and a lovely smile pooled to give Josef Mengele the title of the Angel of Death. He was perhaps most known for standing at the front of the line of Jews, gays, and disabled, directing them to the right or the left; work or the gas chambers (Josef). He was coldhearted in his decisions, barely glancing at each person’s pleading eyes, purposely splitting up families. He would even force mothers to choose between their children at times, giving them but a moment to decide which child would go to their death.
A monster inside an angel’s skin, Mengele attracted Jews, causing them to think “How could someone so beautiful ever hurt me?” Upon the liberation of Auschwitz on January 27th, 1945, more than 7,000 were freed. However, this was only a small percentage of the 60,000 prisoners that were marched out of the camp through evacuation. 15,000 of them were murdered in the Death March. However, coy and brilliant as he was, Dr. Mengele escaped Auschwitz disguised as a member of the regular German infantry.
He danced through multiple concentrations camps in disguise until he was captured by the allies and held near Munich (Mengele). Unfortunately, he was shortly released, the allies having no inkling that he was the infamous Dr. Mengele. In 1948 Josef Mengele formally decided to leave Germany for Argentina, hoping to completely escape the Nuremburg Trials for good. He forged a false document to cross the border and hopped from country to country over the course of ten years, terrified of being caught (Josef).
He was unfortunately able to live a relatively normal life for a while, disguised under different aliases. Then one day Mengele decided to take a swim; upon entering the water he suffered from a massive stroke and was dead before anyone knew what happened. The twisted experiments of Dr. Josef Mengele will be remembered forever for their cruelty and horrors. Mengele was an infamous killer who died with karma on his hands. Thousands suffered and died due to his medical experiments and only few lived to tell the tale.
His name will forever and always be one of horror, and he will always be remembered as the Angel of Death, a murderer of children.