Dr Robert Jay Lifton THE NAZI DOCTORS:
                        Medical Killing and the
                            Psychology of Genocide ©
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Dr. Auschwitz: Josef Mengele 
any case, we can be reasonably sure that Mengele was seeking to further his own scientific name, and that he would have published results under that name alone.

This gangrenous condition of the face and mouth is known to result from extreme debilitation, and prisoner doctors had no doubt that such debilitation or cachexia (a general wasting of the body) from Auschwitz diet and general conditions was the fundamental. cause of the frequent occurrence in Gypsy children of this ordinarily rare disease. Mengele did not entirely dispute this assumption, as he permitted Professor Epstein to give at least one lecture on noma in which the importance of cachexia was stressed. But Mengele was clearly more interested in a genetic or racial source, so that a prisoner doctor who was given the task of bacteriological work on the condition, could ask, “But why did the German physicians, not think, … as we thought ourselves, that this noma epidemic was to be attributed to the misery, lack of hygiene and nutrition, to which these children were submitted, rather, than to another cause?”

Eva C., the artist who worked with Mengele, recalls an incident in which he took her to an extremely debilitated Gypsy boy moribund from advanced noma — “a little bundle of bones” — and asked her, “Would you believe that this kid is ten years old?” C.’s sense was that Mengele was not so much commenting on how much younger the boy appeared as implying that “this is that kind of race, … like he didn't realize that he did it to that kid.” This pattern of blaming the victim was especially blatant in Mengele’s noma work.

Mengele again killed for science. One prisoner doctor told me how Mengele one day brought in “two heads … wrapped in newspaper … children's heads … smelling of phenol.” It was clear that Mengele had had the children killed in order to make possible their postmortem study, and he was bringing the heads to this doctor for bacteriological examination.
Mengele’s work on eye color was a particularly strange and revealing episode in his Auschwitz research career. Characteristically, it began with a scientific basis. He regularly sent eyes of Gypsies back to the Berlin Institute, where a study was being conducted of hereditary factors in eye color, with special focus on a condition known as heterochromia of the iris, in which the two eyes of a person are of different colors. A woman physician named Magnussen who worked at the institute was in charge of the eye project. Dr. Nyiszli reports the occurrence of heterochromia, with one blue and one brown eye, in six of eight Gypsy twins he was ordered on one occasion to dissect. His dissection showed that these twins had been killed by phenol injection, though he also found evidence in all of hereditary syphilis and in some of tuberculosis. Mengele said that, because of the syphilis and tuberculosis, they “would not have lived in any case” — a comment Nyiszli took as a signal to write in these diseases  
Medical Killing and the
Psychology of Genocide

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