|Dr. Auschwitz: Josef
had a pair of seventy-year-old Austrian
And then there were the dwarfs.
A very macabre sort of
ship of fools.
|The prisoner anthropologist, Teresa W., who did
measurements on the twins, estimated that the influx of Hungarian Jews during
the spring and summer of 1944 led to the accumulation of about 250 individual
twins in Birkenau, mostly children but some adolescents. As she pointed out,
It is very difficult [under ordinary, conditions] to find twins in such a
number. And in the men's camp, Simon J. described a collection of
about one hundred of us
from the ages of three to
singles and doubles, males only. Mengeles main inner sanctum, where
he kept his records, was in Birkenau, where he was chief doctor. Ernst
B.s observation about the mystery surrounding this room was confirmed by
several survivors. One, for instance, told me that prisoners knew of it, but
had no approach to this room, and that he kept his research records
there: How or in what manner we don't know, because we never could come
near this room of his.
Because they, helped in mailing
arrangements, prisoners confirmed that Mengele regularly sent reports and
specimens to Verschuer's Berlin-Dahlem Institute of Racial Biology. (On pages
357-60 I discuss Mengeles method and his scientific aspirations.)
He permitted mothers of young female twins to stay on their block with
them, apparently out of his concern that the children remain in good physical
and mental condition. But as another twin went on to say, there always
came a day when the mothers would be sent back to the regular camp, which
usually meant their deaths. While fathers of twins were studied much less
frequently, there was at least one notable exception: a physician who himself
became both a research subject (undergoing the usual tests and measurements)
and an assistant to Mengele (preparing reports on geographical distribution of
Mengeles most treasured research objects, were often examined together,
and comparatively, as two of them* described:
It was like a laboratory. First they weighed us,
then they measured and compared.
There isnt a piece of body that
wasnt measured and compared.
We were always sitting together
We would sit for hours together, and they would measure
her, and then measure me, and then again measure me and measure her.
know, the width of, say, our ears or nose or mouth or
the structure of
Everything in detail, they wanted to
| These twins insisted that Mengele did virtually everything
himself. Since they were in Birkenau, where his anthropological assistant was
* These two women, still
profoundly identified with one another at the age of fifty-one, insisted upon
being interviewed together, and their voices on the tape are not
distinguishable from one another.