Josef Mengele – the Creation of a Myth
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May I ask my dear reader whether he or she recognizes any of the following names:
Fritz Klein, Heinz Thilo, Bruno Kitt, Erwin von Helmersen, Werner Rohde, Hellmuth Vetter, Horst Schumann, Carl Clauberg, Hans Wilhelm König, Franz Lucas, Alfred Trzebinski, Oskar Dienstbach, Siegfried Schwela, Franz von Bodmann, Kurt Uhlenbroock, Eduard Wirths, Hans Münch, Johann Paul Kremer, Horst Fischer, Friedrich Entress?
Unless you’re an expert in the field, you probably have no clue who these people are. The only name I would recognize, if I were to turn off my expert knowledge, is Clauberg, and that only because that was the name of my high-school art teacher (first name unknown).
All the men listed above were at some point or other SS physicians at the infamous Auschwitz Camp.
I omitted one name from the list, and that for a good reason, because that name would give it all away:
SS officers at Auschwitz. From left to right: Richard Baer, Josef Mengele, Josef Kramer, Rudolf Höss (From the so-called Höcker Album, USHMM Archive)
Why is it that we all recognize this one name, but have no idea about all the others? And with all, I am not just referring to any of us. This all also includes Auschwitz survivors. If we read or listen to the many testimonies of the thousands of Auschwitz survivors, there seems to have been only one evil person in that entire huge camp: Josef Mengele. Almost every survivor mentions him as an evil SS doctor sending people either to the gas chambers or subjecting them to some cruel, senseless, torturous experiments. Just as Auschwitz has become the symbol for the Holocaust in general, so does Mengele symbolize the evil of Auschwitz. They are synonymous.
Why is that so?
Most of the above-listed individuals were arrested after the war at some point and either committed suicide while incarcerated or were sentenced to death or to extended prison terms. Mengele escaped. He was never caught. In 1985, years after his death in 1979 in his South-American exile, however, his former whereabouts were revealed, his remains eventually exhumed and identified.
Mengele wasn’t the only Auschwitz physician who managed to escape, though. Hans Wilhelm König was even better than Mengele. König disappeared without leaving a trace. But no one has ever heard that name, or have you?
We get an idea what the basis of the “Mengele Myth” is if we listen to one of the most-determined Nazi hunters of the world, the Israeli Efraim Zuroff. While hunting for Josef Mengele during the 1980s, he stumbled upon the remarkable fact that survivors immediately after the war did not describe Mengele as the same evil criminal as he was portrayed in the 1980s or even later. Sifting through newsletters published right after the war by and for “survivors,” he came across the (false) news that Mengele had been arrested in early 1947. On that occasion, survivor newsletters asked their readers for incriminating testimonies against Mengele, and such testimonies were then even published. But, as Zuroff summarizes:
“The content of these articles proved quite surprising because they clearly indicated that the Mengele of 1985, who had become a symbol of evil and the personification of the perversion of science, did not enjoy the same notoriety in 1947. […Zuroff noted] that Mengele was not considered a very high-ranking criminal [in 1947], nor was his supposed arrest regarded as an event of exceptional significance. […] This notice was, in effect, the first indication that the status of the infamous ‘Angel of Death’ had grown by leaps and bounds over the years. […Mengele was], in a certain sense, not the same person who was simultaneously hunted for in South America.”
Of course, memories are more accurate a short time after an alleged event than decades later, so the image survivors had of Mengele in 1947 was most certainly more accurate as well.
In 1986, shortly after the hunt for Mengele had been over, the Czech-German historian Zdenek Zofka wrote these memorable lines about how Mengele had become the center of attention of the Holocaust Industry:
“After the fortieth anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and after the ‘Mengele Tribunal’ had been staged on occasion of that anniversary in Jerusalem, the search for Mengele was intensified drastically. The reward leading to his capture was increased by the government of the German state of Hesse from 40,000 to one million deutschmarks, and the reward finally reached the staggering height of ten million deutschmarks due to private donations. Along with the intensified search for Mengele, the media’s interest in the case escalated as well. The ‘Angel of Death of Auschwitz’ offered perfect opportunities for an incessant flood of sensational news, and increasingly cruel and shocking crimes committed by Mengele were revealed with reference to witnesses. The mass murderer Mengele turned into the evil incarnate as such, the outright superhuman demon, as Robert Lifton writes.”
Zofka’s aim with his paper was an attempt to “correct the image of Josef Mengele, which has been distorted and exorbitantly exaggerated by the sensational media.” He admits that, when trying to assess the crimes allegedly committed by Mengele, there is basically no documentary evidence to rely on, and that relying on witness accounts in such an atmosphere of hysteria is problematic, to say the least. He continuous by stating:
“All too often, it is impossible to be sure that their [the witnesses’] recollections really refer to Mengele at all. It is all too often possible to show that Mengele has been confused with other SS physicians. Almost all the inmates state that they were selected by Mengele on the ramp [to be sent to the gas chamber]. But camp physicians performed the selections in shifts; Mengele performed no more selections than any of the others.” (ibid., p. 246)
This underscores the point I made earlier.
When assessing Mengele’s purported crimes, we have to distinguish three different sets:
- Selecting inmates for the gas chambers.
- Experiments with twins.
- Random medical experiments.
Let’s discuss all three of them here briefly, with reference to further reading for those who want to learn more. Let’s start with the last one first, because it can be dealt with rather swiftly.
Random Medical Experiments
There is “eyewitness” testimony galore about utterly senseless, cruel experiments allegedly performed by Mengele, like changing eye colors by injecting dye into an eye, transplanting limbs and organs to random places in the body, and other nonsense. While studying hundreds of “survivor” testimonies, I’ve come across a good share of these insults to the intellect, so insulting, indeed, that I will not waste my time listing them here. Google the net, and you’ll stumble across these Halloweenish horror stories all over the place. People evidently like to gawk at guts and gore, so the survivors, protected from scrutiny by their aura of sainthood, cater to that need. Interestingly, the alleged victims of these experiments, quite frequently the very witnesses telling these tales, show no signs whatsoever of these cruel procedures. And it goes without saying that there is not the slightest proof for any of it: no documents, no autopsies, no medical examination on survivors proving it. Nothing. It’s all a pack of lies, sweet and simple.
The alleged cruel experiments Mengele is said to have performed with twins deported to Auschwitz were so lethal that most of the twins he had enrolled in his research not only survived the war, but were even able to form an association in 1984, toward the peak of the Mengele hysteria, which was meant to lobby for their and their descendants’ interests: Children of Auschwitz Nazi Deadly Lab Experiment Survivors (CANDLES). Read and rethink the association’s name: How can deadly lab experiments have any survivors?
In fact, as Italian historian Carlo Mattogno has shown in his paper on Mengele’s twin research, there are three facts which clearly prove that Mengele did not commit any crimes on those twins:
- All the surviving paperwork clearly shows that his research was limited to anthropological and behavioral studies, but did not include any surgical or other intrusive procedures.
- All the twins enlisted for his research were enrolled in that program for months on end, with none of them ever dying.
- Most of those involved – the twins as well as Mengele’s inmate assistants – survived Auschwitz and the war.
Separately, think of that: Children are not supposed to have gotten beyond the camp’s railway ramp. Since they were obviously unfit for labor, the Holocaust orthodoxy has it that they were sent to the gas chamber straight away, but that’s evidently not what happened, not just with Mengele’s twin children, but in general.
For the long list of twins and children at Auschwitz who survived the camp, see Mattogno’s paper.
Which brings me to the final point: The selections at the railway ramps near the Auschwitz Camp and (later) inside the Auschwitz-Birkenau Camp. There can be no doubt that these selections took place. They happened at Auschwitz, and they happened at other German wartime camps as well. They were usually performed by physicians, and it is safe to say that Mengele, as one of the many Auschwitz physicians, was ordered to do them as well.
But what were they about? Did those in charge, Mengele among them, decide who got to live and who was to die in the gas?
To answer this question comprehensively would require the analysis of tens of thousands of documents that survived the war. I’m not going to do this here, most importantly because there is no need to reinvent the wheel. Others have done that already, and I’ll point the reader to them.
The issue boils down to two questions:
- Are there any documents indicating that homicidal gas chambers existed at Auschwitz?
- What do the documents reveal about the purpose of selection(s) made?
Regarding a., let me quote from an article published in late 2016 in the conservative mainstream periodical Taki’s Magazine. It was written by Jewish activist David Cole, who in the 1990s was dabbling for a while in Auschwitz research. In this Taki article, Cole, who believes in all other aspects of the orthodox Holocaust narrative, explains why he has problems with Auschwitz:
“Ah, Auschwitz. Yes, here’s where we still have a problem. […] there are genuine problems with what is commonly claimed to be part 3 [of the Holocaust]—that in 1943 Auschwitz-Birkenau was ‘renovated’ to become an ultra-super be-all end-all extermination facility. To me, the evidence just isn’t there, and the evidence that does exist calls that claim into question. […Orthodox historians] backed themselves into a corner by putting Auschwitz, with its phony, postwar tourist-attraction ‘gas chamber’ and its complete lack of documentary evidence supporting a killing program, front and center as the heart of the Holocaust. They’re in so deep at this point that they can’t back off.
It’s surprisingly easy to get the leading lights of anti-denial to admit as much one-on-one. Rick Eaton has been the senior researcher at the Simon Wiesenthal Center for thirty years. He’s as major a player in the fight against Holocaust denial as anyone on earth. Two years ago, I corresponded with him (under a pseudonym, of course… he’d never speak directly with the likes of me!) regarding the Auschwitz problem. I explained my thesis to him, that Auschwitz, having various ‘issues’ that call the credibility of extermination claims into question, should not be used to represent the Holocaust. He agreed […].
Keep in mind that even though I was using a pseudonym, I was not falsely claiming to be anyone of note. In other words, Eaton made that admission to a complete nobody, a total stranger. One gets the feeling that many of these experts are secretly longing for the day when they can be open about the ‘Auschwitz problem’ and move past it […].”
Fact is that challenging the orthodox Auschwitz – and Mengele – narrative is a crime in many countries, and in those countries where it is not, doing so will still turn challengers into social pariahs. Hence, you won’t hear a word from any mainstream scholar about the fact that “the evidence just isn’t there.” When scientists have to act under the threat of legal or professional penalty, we can neither trust them nor their research results.
All that remains are the studies of those who don’t bend to the pressure; who literally risk loss of life, limb and liberty when publishing their iconoclastic research results. I may point out two of those studies which can give the reader a good overview as to why we have an “Auschwitz problem”:
1. The Real Case for Auschwitz by the already-mentioned Carlo Mattogno. This thick volume of some 750 pages thoroughly discusses all the relevant documentary evidence on those buildings which are said to have contained homicidal gas chambers. This is the main foundation upon which Cole based his conclusion that the evidence for the existence of homicidal gas chambers at Auschwitz “just isn’t there,” and that “the evidence that does exist calls that claim into question.”
2. The Chemistry of Auschwitz, by, well, myself. This 440-page book summarizes the documentary situation succinctly (which saves you having to read the 750 pages of the first book mentioned) and forensically evaluates various kinds of material evidence of the purported crime scene.
There are many more studies that could be listed, but the interested reader can learn about them when perusing the two works just mentioned.
The upshot of all these studies is quite simply that there cannot have been any homicidal gas chambers at Auschwitz. The forensic and documentary evidence positively refutes even the possibility of their existence.
This brings us to Point b. If the selections where not designed to send people to the gas chambers, what purpose did they serve? Well, if a camp received hundreds of inmates in one swoop, what was the SS supposed to do? Just let those deportees walk in and do whatever they pleased? Some kind of admission procedure had to be in place where it was figured out which deportee was to be lodged in which building in which part of the camp, or who of them will even be sent to another camp. Such an admission procedure happens in every prison and camp in every country. That wasn’t any different at Auschwitz. Having physicians involved to assess the health of incoming deportees makes sense, too. A detailed analysis of the surviving documentation clearly shows in this regard as well that there was nothing sinister or unusual about those selections at Auschwitz.
Cover art for an upcoming study of the testimonies of one of the key witnesses propping up the orthodox Auschwitz narrative.
But what about all those witnesses? Well, if we look into witnesses who testified about their experiences with Dr. Mengele right at the end of the war, before memories got corrupted by the Mengele hysteria starting at the late 1970s/early 1980s, there is really only one witness saying anything of substance: the Jewish physician Miklos Nyiszli from Hungary, who for several months of his incarceration at Auschwitz was the assistant of Dr. Mengele, if we are to believe him.
The late German mainstream historian and expert of Third Reich history Prof. Dr. Werner Maser said about Nyiszli simply that he “lied excessively.” He didn’t justify this harsh assessment, however, because that would have required citing the writings of heretics, which Maser didn’t want to do to prevent getting himself in trouble (so he admitted to me). In his above-quoted paper on Mengele, Mattogno gave a brief summary of the main reasons why Nyiszli was indeed an imposter and excessive liar. The reader interested in a thorough, 300-page critique of Nyiszli’s various tall tales in English will have to wait until later this year, though, when a study dedicated to this key witness is slated to appear.
A drawing of a prisoner showing Dr. Wirths, garrison physician at Auschwitz between September 1942 and early 1945, as a knight in shining uniform battling against lice infestation and thus typhus
Mengele is special, so special, indeed, that this is the only uncommon German last name my English spell checker doesn’t complain about. Like blitzkrieg and Auschwitz, this term has become a fixed part of the English language. What a proud legacy of a reviled concentration-camp physician!
In Mengele’s case, however, it is safe to say that this isn’t his fault. As Wikipedia writes correctly, quoting the one book that was most influential in cementing the Mengele hysteria:
“Rolf [Mengele, Josef’s son], who had not seen his father since the ski holiday in 1956, visited him there [in São Paulo, Brazil] in 1977 and found an unrepentant Nazi who claimed he had never personally harmed anyone and had only done his duty.”
Mengele was a deputy of the Auschwitz garrison physician Dr. Eduard Wirths. Wirths, in turn, was celebrated by hundreds of Auschwitz inmates as a hero, as the “Angel of Auschwitz” saving the lives of tens of thousands of them with his selfless efforts to improve their lot and to battle the epidemics reaping a gruesome harvest at Auschwitz. Mengele was Wirths’s right-hand man – in the battle to save as many lives as possible of those whom the authorities of the Third Reich had recklessly and irresponsibly deported to Auschwitz.
Mengele was not just innocent of the crimes he is accused of. Together with Eduard Wirths and the other physicians at Auschwitz, his tireless efforts saved the lives of ten thousands of inmates.
|||See the list of all known Auschwitz SS personnel at https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_im_KZ_Auschwitz.|
|||For the orthodoxy’s story, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josef_Mengele.|
|||E. Zuroff, Occupation Nazi-Hunter: The Continuing Search for the Perpetrators of the Holocaust, KTAV, Hoboken, N.J., 1994, pp. 127f.|
|||Zdenek Zofka, “Der KZ-Arzt Mengele zur Typologie eines NS-Verbrechers,” in: Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte, Vol. 34, No. 2 (1986) pp. 245-267, here p. 245f.; www.ifz-muenchen.de/heftarchiv/1986_2.pdf.|
|||Carlo Mattogno, “Dr. Mengele’s ‘Medical Experiments’ on Twins in the Birkenau Gypsy Camp,” Inconvenient History, Vol. 5, No. 4 (2013); http://codoh.com/library/document/3223.|
|||David Cole, “OY VEY! Denial Is Dead,” Taki’s Magazine, Sept. 29, 2016; http://takimag.com/article/denial_is_dead_david_cole.|
|||Carlo Mattogno: The Real Case for Auschwitz: Robert van Pelt’s Evidence from the Irving Trial Critically Reviewed, 2nd ed., Castle Hill Publishers, Uckfield, 2015; www.holocausthandbooks.com/dl/22-trcfa.pdf.|
|||Germar Rudolf, The Chemistry of Auschwitz: The Technology and Toxicology of Zyklon B and the Gas Chambers. A Crime-Scene Investigation, Castle Hill Publishers, Uckfield 2017; www.holocausthandbooks.com/?page_id=2.|
|||See C. Mattogno, Healthcare in Auschwitz: Medical Care and Special Treatment of Registered Inmates, Castle Hill Publishers, Uckfield 2016; www.holocausthandbooks.com/dl/33-hia.pdf.|
|||Werner Maser, Fälschung, Dichtung und Wahrheit über Hitler und Stalin, Olzog, Munich 2004, p. 348.|
|||Carlo Mattogno, Miklos Nyiszli, An Auschwitz Doctor’s Eyewitness Account: The Tall Tales of Dr. Mengele’s Assistant Analyzed, Castle Hill Publishers, Uckfield, in translation; www.holocausthandbooks.com/?page_id=37; an older, shorter study is available only in Italian: C. Mattogno, “Medico ad Auschwitz”: Anatomia di un falso, Edizioni La Sfinge, Parma 1988.|
|||Gerald L. Posner, John Ware, Mengele: The Complete Story, McGraw-Hill, New York 1986, pp. 2, 279.|
|||See Christoph M. Wieland, “Eduard Wirths, M.D., Garrison physician of Auschwitz – a Key Witness to the Holocaust!?,” in: C. Mattogno, Healthcare in Auschwitz, op. cit. (Note 9), pp. 219-269.|
Additional information about this document
|Title:||Josef Mengele – the Creation of a Myth|
|Sources:||Inconvenient History, 9(2) (2017)|
|First posted on CODOH:||April 22, 2017, 3:31 p.m.|