Mengele, the "Angel of Death" - Memory makes us free

Mengele, the “Angel of Death”

Josef Mengele was a doctor and a member of the SS, who became famous for his experiments on Auschwitz children and for this reason he was nicknamed ‘’Angel of Death’’ and ‘’Black Angel’’.

Firma di Joseph Mengele
Joseph Mengele’s signature- –

However, Mengele wasn’t an isolated criminal, because behind him there was  the entire German scientific community, who saw him as a brilliant researcher and who supported him with conviction.

From his first degree thesis (in philosophy), he continued all his professional course (second degree thesis  in medicine, 3 years after his first graduation) and became interested about  the morphological differences between various racial groups, and he convinced himself  that genetics could make a decisive contribution to preservation of the purity of the Aryan race.

When he arrived at Auschwitz, in 1943, he started to do a large number of experiments, sure that he could find the secrets of heredity.

La baracca di Mengele ad Auschwitz 2 - Birkenau
Mengele’s barrack in Auschwitz II -Birkenau


Joseph Mengele
Joseph Mengele – Auschwitz Birkenau Memorial and Museum –

Every day a group of selected children, (mainly Gipsies, Sintis and Jews) had to submit to experiments, blood samples, drug injections and surgery performed without anesthesia, which could include the removal of organs, or the amputation of some parts of the body.

Some experiments on the eyes of those people became famous, also because they had the objective to change the original color of the iris.

Mengele, in addition, dealt with the tendency of the Gipsies to contract gangrenous stomatitis, which made him think that they had a racial predisposition to the disease, but after a long series of tests and experiments, he realized that the cause of the infection was due to malnutrition.

Bambini ROM vittime di Joseph Mengele, Auschwitz 2
Romanies children victims of Joseph Mengele, Auschwitz II – Auschwitz Birkenau Memorial and Museum-

In addition, Mengele paid particular attention especially to the twins; there exists a document where there were written about 700 couples, frequently children, that he ‘’studied’’. He gave great care to the elimination of twins, they had to die together, the accidental death, for example due to an illness, of only one of the two twins, for Mengele was a source of great “opposition”.

Ragazza ungherese di 10 anni, liberata a Birkenau dall'Armata ROssa il 27 gennaio 1945 - Auschwitz Birkenau Memorial and Museum -
10 year old Hungarian girl, freed in Birkenau by the Red Army on January 27, 1945 – Auschwitz Birkenau Memorial and Museum –

One of the most terrifying stories was the story of the Bucci sisters, Andra e Tatiana, and the little Sergio De Simone, born in Naples and died in Germany, who was fiercely deceived by the angel of death.

They were captured with their families in Fiume in a night of 1944, and when all started they were imprisoned at the Risiera di San Sabba, then they were transferred to Auschwitz. Here,on April 4th, 1944, Mengele was selecting some victims, and with the sentence: ‘’Who wants to see the mother, please take a step forward’’, misled many children, including the little Sergio, who was transferred to the Neuengamme concentration camp on the recommendation of the Dr. Joseph Mengele.

After undergoing various experiments on tuberculosis,  on April 20th 1945, he was killed in the basement of the Hamburg school in Bullenhuser Damm, with other children.

Bambino liberato ad Auschwitz
Freed child in Auschwitz– Auschwitz Birkenau Memorial and Museum –


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