Dr Robert Jay Lifton THE NAZI DOCTORS:
                        Medical Killing and the
                            Psychology of Genocide ©
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Dr. Auschwitz: Josef Mengele 
had a pair of seventy-year-old Austrian gentlemen. … 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 … seventy … singles and doubles, males only.” Mengele’s 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 Mengele’s 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 Hungarian twins).29

Identical twins, Mengele’s 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 isn’t a piece of body that wasn’t measured and compared. …We were always sitting together — always nude. … We would sit for hours together, and they would measure her, and then measure me, and then again measure me and measure her. … You know, the width of, say, our ears or nose or mouth or … the structure of our bones. … Everything in detail, they wanted to know. 
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.   
Medical Killing and the
Psychology of Genocide

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