Dr Robert Jay Lifton THE NAZI DOCTORS:
                        Medical Killing and the
                            Psychology of Genocide ©
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Dr. Auschwitz: Josef Mengele 
was evoked in him,” and told of two girls for whom she successfully intervened with him. Mengele undoubtedly derived psychological satisfaction from such incidents — all the more because he did not necessarily have to alter his basic policies: the two girls in question were sent to the gas chamber a short time later.

Another woman, in her teens when she arrived, told of a sequence of one of Mengele’s acts of rescue: her responding to her mother’s plea to join her in the line of the living; becoming sick on the hospital block, where “Dr. Mengele visited me daily” and “gave the order to treat me well”; and finding out additionally from the prisoner doctor that “Dr. Mengele was very interested in me and I should definitely return to my block the next day [and that] there he wouldn’t look for me [for selection].”24 Undoubtedly with the help of distortions and imagined attitudes, this woman saw Mengele as a combination of omnipotent rescuer and concerned physician. (On occasion he even examined and treated prisoner patients, rare for SS doctors.)

Or one could be rescued by the God figure’s own cough: a woman remembered that Mengele’s slight cough had come just at the moment he was to evaluate her, permitting her to move quickly ahead to what she had perceived to be the line of the living.25 
Direct Killing 
Mengele could also kill directly. He was observed to perform phenol injections, always with a correct medical demeanor. He seemed to Dr. Marek P. to be always intent upon improving the killing system and upset at others’ inefficiency: “He was infuriated by seeing the whole long line of people waiting [and] would take the syringe and show them [SDG personnel or prisoners performing the phenol injections] how to do it faster.” Mengele himself administered the injections “without speaking,” and “as though he were performing regular surgery … without showing any emotion at all.”

Mengele also shot a number of prisoners and was reported to have killed at least one by pressing his foot on a woman’s body. And there were additional reports of his having thrown newborn babies directly into the crematoria or open fires.26

In selecting for death or in killing people himself, the essence of Mengele was flamboyant detachment — one might say disinterestedness — and efficiency. 
Research on Twins 
Though usually cool and detached in his killing, Mengele was passionate in conducting his research, particularly his study of twins. Indeed, he probably came to Auschwitz for that purpose. He had apparently worked with twins under Verschuer at the University of Frank- […furt]  
Medical Killing and the
Psychology of Genocide

Robert J. Lifton
ISBN 0-465-09094
© 1986
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