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  • A young girl, Eva, looks up at the doctor.

  • He's furious today, stamping his feet and shouting, which makes many of the youngsters

  • cry.

  • He's angry because two of his kids, his prisoners, died before he had a chance to

  • work on them.

  • He needs all the guinea pigs he can get.

  • Eva has seen things she can hardly comprehend.

  • Soon she will witness something that will sear her mind until she's an elderly woman.

  • That is the doctor's attempt to make conjoined twins.

  • Her name was Eva Mozes Kor, and she was one of the survivors.

  • A twin herself, she and her sister were experimented on at the Auschwitz concentration camp.

  • Two of her other sisters, as well as her parents, died in the gas chamber.

  • The Nazi doctor was Josef Mengele, a man that would become known as the Angel of Death.

  • We'll tell you a little about him before we get to the experiments.

  • As you'll see throughout this video, he was something of a shapeshifter.

  • During his student days, he was into music and the arts.

  • He was studious.

  • He was bright.

  • He also developed increasingly nationalistic beliefs as he got older, in line with traditional

  • values characterized by thelkisch movement.

  • In short, he was a racist.

  • That racism would define his entire life.

  • The bright young chap went on to study medicine, showing a particular interest in human genetics

  • and physical anthropology.

  • In case you didn't know, the latter is related to the development of humans through evolutionary

  • history.

  • You can already see how this man began to embrace the Nazi ideology of a superior race.

  • In 1937, he joined the Nazi Party and later became part of the SS, a paramilitary organization

  • which in German was called the Schutzstaffel.

  • He served in the armed forces for a while after the outbreak of war, later joining the

  • SS Race and Settlement Main Office.

  • This division was tasked withsafeguarding the racial 'purity'” of those in the SS.

  • His responsibilities there were to ensuregenetic healthand also administergenetic

  • health tests.”

  • The Nazi Party did not want its own procreating with people it deemed impure.

  • Wives and finances of SS members were investigated to ensure this didn't happen.

  • Mengele firmly believed in genetic superiority.

  • He embraced the study of eugenics, which, if you're not familiar with it, relates

  • to the attempt to create a healthier future generation by condoning selective interbreeding

  • with people who have certain genetic characteristics.

  • The doctor believed he could further his study of genetics by experimenting with humans.

  • All he needed were test subjects, and those he got when he was made chief physician at

  • Auschwitz concentration camp in 1943.

  • When he got there, masses of people had already died in the gas chambers.

  • Around 75 percent of them were those deemed unfit to work.

  • They were mainly women, children, and frail, and the elderly.

  • Part of Mengele's job was to select which people went to the gas chamber and which people

  • didn't.

  • The vast majority of the 960,000 Jews that were sent there went to the gas chamber.

  • As did the majority of the Roma, the ethnic Poles, and the Soviet prisoners of war.

  • Many not immediately slaughtered were forced to work.

  • They were also experimented on, along with the children.

  • Part of Mengele's job was treating sick inmates and Nazi personnel, doing what doctors

  • generally do.

  • He was more than just a demented Nazi arch-criminal.

  • One historian wrote, “Mengele's outsize reputation as a medical monster is inverse

  • proportion to what is known and understood about what he actually did.”

  • There is no question that inmates endured horrendous tortures and often died when they

  • were experimented on.

  • They were subjected to deadly air pressure.

  • They were left out in the freezing cold and dangerously heated up.

  • Women had their muscles and nerves removed.

  • Children had limbs removed.

  • People were deliberately given deadly blood infections.

  • All manner of indescribable things happened to them.

  • This was at the hands of many different people, but it's Mengele's name that has stood

  • the test of time.

  • This is mainly down to his experiments on children and his obsession with twins.

  • To us he was a beast, but he believed he was riding on the cutting edge of medical science.

  • The camp gave him the opportunity to do what he thought were great thingsalbeit within

  • the parameters of depraved Nazi ideology.

  • In his owns words, after the war, he said he didn't invent the camps and just worked

  • in them.

  • His son even said, “He couldn't help anyone.

  • On the platform for instance.

  • What was he to do, when the half-dead and infected people arrived?”

  • But get this.

  • His son also said, “The twins owe their lives to him.”

  • He did choose twins for his experiments, which may have saved them from the gas chamber.

  • It's now understood that he founded a kindergarten and played violin for the kids there.

  • That's one reason he was sometimes calleduncleby the kids.

  • They couldn't have known about medical experimentation at the beginning.

  • A former inmate doctor later said, “He could be playful, jumping about to please them.

  • The twin children frequently called him Uncle Pepi.”

  • This is what another inmate doctor once said about him:

  • He was capable of being so kind to the children, to have them become fond of him,

  • to bring them sugar, to think of small details in their daily lives, and to do things we

  • would genuinely admire ... And then, next to that, ... the crematoria smoke, and these

  • children, tomorrow or in a half-hour, he is going to send them there.”

  • Mengele didn't work alone, far from it.

  • When kids' hearts were injected with chloroform, or when children were purposefully infected

  • with disease, or even when young ones had their eyes injected with dye, he was part

  • of a team, sometimes working under the auspices of the Kaiser-Wilhelm Institute.

  • It would be a mistake to blame him for all the atrocities committed in the name of medical

  • science, but when it comes to experimenting on twins, that was certainly his very own

  • sphere.

  • But why twins, you might ask?

  • No one is exactly sure, but it's thought that Mengele was interested in learning a

  • few things.

  • He believed twins might teach him more about the inheritance of genes.

  • He was also interested in how twins reacted individually to specific experiments.

  • It's thought the overarching reason for the experiments was simply the Nazi's view

  • that there was a superior race.

  • Some people have said Mengele wanted to understand if there was a possibility of giving what

  • the Nazis thought wereracially superiorcouples more chance of having superior twins.

  • Around 200 pairs of twins survived from as many as 15000 pairs.

  • Others died when their hearts were injected with phenol so they could subsequently be

  • dissected.

  • Survivor Jona Laks said, “Mengele removed organs from people without anesthetic, and

  • if one twin died the other would be murdered.”

  • The reason for that was the doctor wanted to know not only how they compared in life,

  • but what happened to each of their bodies after they died.

  • At one point, according to the testimony of an inmate assistant, he killed 14 twins in

  • one night.

  • That testimony read, “He injected the evipan into her right arm intravenously.

  • After the child had fallen asleep, he felt for the left ventricle of the heart and injected

  • 10 cc. of chloroform.”

  • He said the twin twitched and died soon after.

  • All 14 went the same way that night.

  • In another case, Mengele took two gypsy twins aged seven and studied them.

  • They had problems in their joints, which he said was tuberculosis.

  • The radiologist didn't agree.

  • Enraged, Mengele took the twins into another room.

  • When he returned, he said to the radiologist, “You are right.

  • There was nothing.”

  • He'd shot them both and dissected them.

  • Prior to that, the twins arguably had the best life of any prisoner at Auschwitz - not

  • that that was saying much.

  • Those twins had been favorites of Mengele, as one man later said, they werespoiled

  • in all respectsand theyfascinated him considerably.”

  • Some kids were able to play soccer, and most were fed well compared to other prisoners

  • in the camp.

  • Some of them got to keep their own clothes as well as the hair on their heads.

  • One twin survivor later said he feltcompletely elevated, segregated from the hurly-burly

  • of the camp.”

  • These reports conflict with others, though.

  • For instance, twins Ephraim and Menashe Reichenberg said they were transported in a packed train,

  • and when the train stopped, they heard the call, “Zwillinge raus”, “twins out”.

  • They were told to stay in a certain line, and they would stay alive.

  • At the camp, they were stripped, shaved, disinfected, and given prisoner uniforms with the numbers

  • B-10506 and B-10507.

  • They said there were about 1,000 kids at that time, mostly twins and dwarfs.

  • The boys had noticeably different voices.

  • This piqued the interest of Dr. Mengele.

  • Their necks were injected with an unknown substance in one experiment, which led to

  • swelling, high fever, muteness, and a state of exhaustion for several days.”

  • Menashe died as a result of the experiments in 1946, after he was freed from the camp.

  • Ephraim later moved to Israel after returning to Budapest to discover all his family was

  • dead.

  • He became a bus driver.

  • Life was ok.

  • But because of the experiments, he had continual breathing and swallowing problems, which led

  • to him not being able to talk at all.

  • In later life, he told his devastating story through an artificial voice amplifier.

  • All the children were subject cases more than they were humans.

  • Identical twins were always being measured and analyzed.

  • For hours at a time, they had to sit through various procedures, including having material

  • inserted into their spines and spinal taps.

  • This is what Jona Laks said she saw when it was her first time to be experimented on in

  • Mengele's lab: “I was looking at a whole wall of human

  • eyes.

  • A wall of blue eyes, brown eyes, green eyes.

  • These eyes they were staring at me like a collection of butterflies and I fell down

  • on the floor.”

  • Mengele was obsessed with the inheritance of eye color.

  • Laks said she was given injections in her back, but she never knew why.

  • She and many other twins were also injected with the gangrenous condition, Noma, which

  • after making some kids very sick, killed them.

  • Eva Mozes Kor said she witnessed young boys who'd had their sex organs removed.

  • She later said she believed it was Mengele's attempt to change the sex of the boys.

  • She also said this: “A set of Gypsy twins was brought back from

  • Mengele's lab after they were sewn back to back.

  • Mengele had attempted to create a Siamese twin by connecting blood vessels and organs.

  • The twins screamed day and night until gangrene set in, and after three days they died.”

  • No one is going to doubt that twins were horrifically experimented on in those camps, and some of

  • them died, often in agony.

  • But, an article published in 2020 by the New York Times asserts that there is as much fact

  • as there is fiction when it comes to Mengele.

  • Here is a snippet from that article: “Given his alleged omnipotence, grotesque

  • and untrue accusationsthat Mengele had attempted to create Siamese twins by sewing

  • together a pair of twins, or that he had attempted to make boys into girls and vice versawere

  • circulated.”

  • The same newspaper back in 1985 told a story that involved Mengele shooting a mother and

  • a child when the mother refused to be separated from him.

  • Mengele was reportedly so mad, he had a change of mind and sent all the people he'd previously

  • chosen to survive to be sent to the gas chamber.

  • That certainly sounds like someone capable of other horrors.

  • But, were some of the stories exaggerated?

  • Here's another account from Eva Mozes Kor: “One of the twins, who was 19 years old,

  • told of experiments involving a set of teenage boys and teenage girls.

  • Cross transfusions were carried out in an attempt to make boys into girls and girls

  • into boys.

  • Some of the boys were castrated.

  • Transfusion reactions were similarly studied in the adolescent twins.”

  • In 1992, the US Department of Justice released a lengthy report on Mengele, alleging he had

  • done such terrible things and a lot more we haven't discussed today.

  • The report states, “an exchange of blood was repeatedly made between the individual

  • twins of a pairadding that some twins died as a result.

  • We could find no mention of experiments involving sewing twins together.

  • A survivor and camp warden named Vera Alexander can maybe fill in some gaps.

  • She once said of the doctor, “Every day Mengele came, and every day he brought some

  • toys, sweets, chocolates, and new clothes.”

  • She also said she witnessed how Mengele had impregnated one twin with the sperm of another

  • twin.

  • He pampered her, and he was there at the birth.

  • Alexander said when he saw only one baby and not twins, he threw the baby in the incinerator

  • and justwalked away.”

  • Part of Alexanders's job was taking care of 50 sets of Romani twins.

  • This is what she said she saw one day about one particular pair of twins:

  • Mengele took them away.

  • When they returned, they were in a terrible statethey had been sewn together, back

  • to back, like Siamese twins.

  • Their wounds were infected and oozing pus.

  • They screamed day and night.

  • Then their parents — I remember the mother's name was Stellamanaged to get some morphine

  • and they killed the children in order to end their suffering.”

  • There is also this account from Eva Kor: “A set of Gypsy twins was brought back from

  • Mengele's lab after they were sewn back to back.

  • Mengele had attempted to create a Siamese twin by connecting blood vessels and organs.”

  • She said they screamed day and night until gangrene killed them.

  • These are the only two accounts we can find which talk about Mengele trying to make conjoined

  • twins.

  • The experiments are perhaps the very nadir of what the doctor did.

  • Nonetheless, details about them are very scant.

  • We found more testimony from the 1961 trial of Adolf Eichmann, a man noted as being a

  • significant influence behindThe Final Solution to the Jewish Question.”

  • In the testimony, Vera Alexander is asked about Mengele and what experiments she saw

  • him conduct.

  • She tells the judge she saw only one.

  • He asks her what that was, and she replies, “There was a set of twins, Gypsies, whom

  • he took away one day from the block where I was - that was the Zigeunerlager - the Gypsy

  • camp.

  • Some days later, he returned them, with veins in their arms and their backs sewn together.”

  • The judge then says he doesn't quite understand.

  • Alexander simply says again, “He sewed them.”

  • The judge asks if they were turned into Siamese twins, to which Alexander says, “He sewed

  • their arms together - they were already full of pus, and full of wounds.”

  • She said she didn't know what happened to them since she was transferred to the women's