Dr Robert Jay Lifton THE NAZI DOCTORS:
                        Medical Killing and the
                            Psychology of Genocide ©
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Dr. Auschwitz: Josef Mengele 
injected 10 cc. of chloroform. After one little twitch the child was dead, whereupon Dr. Mengele had it taken into the morgue. In this manner, all fourteen twins were killed during the night.31
The dissection of corpses, then, could be the final step in Mengele’s twin research. While this was by no means the fate of all twins (most had a much better chance to live because they were twins), it nonetheless epitomizes Mengele’s combination of relatively ordinary scientific procedure with literally murderous scientific fanaticism.

But Auschwitz was unique not only in the numbers of twins it could provide, but in what it enabled one to do with the twins: each one of a pair of twins could be observed under the same diet and living conditions and could be made to “die together. . . and in good health” — ideal for post-mortem comparisons.32

Sometimes Mengele killed twins simply to resolve a dispute over diagnosis. Dr. Abraham C., a radiologist who did work for Mengele; described to me one such situation: a pair of Gypsy twins, “two splendid boys of seven or eight, whom we were studying from all aspects — from the sixteen or eighteen different specialties we represented.” The boys had certain joint symptoms which, according to a belief at that time, could be linked to tuberculosis. Mengele was convinced that the boys were tubercular, but the various prisoner doctors, after careful clinical study, found no trace of that disease. Still unconvinced, Mengele shouted at the prisoner doctors, especially at Dr. C., telling him, “All the others could make a mistake, not the radiologist. … It must be there.” Mengele then left, ordering C. to remain there, and returned about an, hour later, now speaking calmly: “You are right. There was nothing.” After some silence, Mengele added, “Yes, I dissected them.” Later C. heard from Nyiszli that Mengele had shot the two boys in the neck and that “while they were still warm, began to examine them: lungs first, and then each organ … [doing] some of the work himself.” The two boys had been favorites with all the doctors, including Mengele: “[They] were treated very well, spoiled in all respects. … These two especially, … they fascinated him considerably.”

Other research was done on twins, some of it difficult to evaluate from their reports. For instance, a survivor twin told me how shocked he and others were to discover a fully equipped laboratory right next to their block, as well as “dark rooms … [with] all kinds of lights, … different lights … [which] literally blinded us.” He spoke of Mengele’s supervising “a lot of research with chemicals,” sometimes applied to the skin to see what color or reaction they would cause. He stated that Mengele’s assistants “started with … the cervical area, then drew blood from behind the ear,” and of how they “might stick a needle” in various places from behind, including the performing of spinal taps — all this done to young children and sometimes resulting in deafness, collapse, and, among the smaller ones, death. He and his twin sister, twelve years old, would be  
Medical Killing and the
Psychology of Genocide

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