Dr. Joseph Mengele documents discovered 67 years later

Three high-ranking Nazi officials are pictured here in a World War II-era photograph. Dr. Joseph Mengele is on the left.

That's Dr. Joseph Mengele – correctly spelled Josef – in the middle. (Photo: Picasa)

Dr. Joseph Mengele may be a misspelling of the name of Nazi Dr. Josef Mengele, but there’s no doubt any student of World War II and history knows that Josef Mengele performed some of the most notorious experiments on human beings in history. Now that food coupons and other Nazi documents have been found in a house outside the former death camp at Auschwitz, the name Dr. Joseph Mengele has been revived and people want to more about the “Doctor of Death,” although not as much as they want Internet loans.

Dr. Joseph Mengele ate his schnitzel one bite at a time

But when he was done, he conducted horrible experiments in hypothermia, among other things. The nearly 300 food coupons, death certificates and maps document the lives of Nazi doctors like Josef Mengele, Horst Fischer and Fritz Klein. The latter two were executed for war crimes after the Allies liberated Poland, according to the Washington Post, but Dr. Joseph Mengele lived until 1979, when he apparently died of natural causes.

Adam Cyra of the Auschwitz Memorial Museum considers the discovery of these documents in the basement of a home in the town of Oswiecim “sensational” in value. The homeowner, who wishes to remain anonymous, just recently released the documents to the museum. He or she isn’t looking for publicity or armed forces loans.

The documents don’t document the war crimes

But they are still quite valuable from a historical standpoint, not just those documents tied to Dr. Joseph Mengele, but all of them. They are of course written in German, and while they serve the purpose of filling in daily procedural details that some might find mundane, the documents do breathe renewed life into a horrific time in human history. The survivors of Nazi death camps will never forget that over 1 million people – primarily but not exclusively of Jewish heritage – died at Auschwitz alone between the years 1940 and 1945. This has been widely verified. Our role in history is not to repeat such barbaric mistakes as to allow wholesale executions based upon race, religion or anything else. Sadly, many of us are failing this historical imperative.

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