Todesengel – Angel of Death : Josef Mengele (War Crimes)

Josef Mengele was born the eldest of three children on 16 March 1911 to Karl and Walburga (Hupfauer) Mengele in Günzburg, Bavaria, Germany. His younger brothers were Karl Jr and Alois. Mengele’s father was founder of the Karl Mengele & Sons company, producers of farm machinery. Mengele did well in school and developed an interest in music, art, and skiing. He completed high school in April 1930 and went on to study medicine at Goethe University Frankfurt and philosophy at the University of Munich. Munich was the headquarters of the Nazi Party. In 1931 Mengele joined the Stahlhelm, Bund der Frontsoldaten, a paramilitary organization that was in 1934 absorbed into the Nazi Sturmabteilung (Storm Detachment; SA). In 1935, Mengele earned a PhD in anthropology from the University of Munich. In January 1937, at the Institute for Hereditary Biology and Racial Hygiene in Frankfurt, he became the assistant to Dr. Otmar Freiherr von Verschuer, a scientist conducting genetics research, with a particular interest in twins. As an assistant to von Verschuer, Mengele focused on the genetic factors resulting in a cleft lip and palate or cleft chin. His thesis on the subject earned him a cum laude doctorate in medicine in 1938. Both of his degrees were later rescinded by the issuing universities. In a letter of recommendation, von Verschuer praised Mengele’s reliability and his ability to verbally present complex material in a clear manner. The American author Robert Jay Lifton notes that Mengele’s published works did not deviate much from the scientific mainstream of the time, and would probably have been viewed as valid scientific efforts even outside the borders of Nazi Germany.

SS-Hauptsturmfuhrer-Josef-MengelUS Department of Justice, Criminal Division
In the Matter of Josef Mengele
(Original Archive)
Report to the Attorney General
United States of America
October 1992
Exhibits Prepared by : Office of Special Investigations Criminal Division, Neal M. Sher Director, Eli M. Rosenbaum Principal Deputy Director

Josef Mengele was an SS physician, infamous for his inhumane medical experimentation upon concentration camp prisoners at Auschwitz. Born on March 16, 1911, in Günzburg, near Ulm, he was the eldest son of Karl Mengele, a prosperous manufacturer of farming implements. In 1935, Mengele earned a Ph.D. in physical anthropology from the University of Munich. In January 1937, at the Institute for Hereditary Biology and Racial Hygiene in Frankfurt, he became the assistant of Dr. Otmar von Verschuer, a leading scientific figure widely known for his research with twins. In 1937 Mengele joined the Nazi Party. The following year, the same year in which he received his medical degree, he joined the SS. In June 1940, Mengele was drafted into the army, and thereafter volunteered into the medical service of the Combat Waffen-SS. Although documentation is scant and often contradictory regarding Mengele’s activities between this time and early 1943, it is clear that he first functioned as a medical expert for the Race and Settlement Main Office [Rasse und Siedlungshauptamt, or RuSHA] in summer 1940 at the Central Immigration Office [Einwandererstelle] North-East in Posen (today Poznan) and thereafter served as a medical officer with the SS Division Wiking (SS Pioneer Battalion V), with which he saw action on the Eastern Front. Wounded while on campaign, Mengele returned to Germany in January 1943, and began work at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute (KWI) for Anthropology, Human Genetics, and Eugenics, directed by his former mentor von Verschuer. In April of 1943, he received a promotion to the rank of SS captain; this advancement shortly preceded Mengele’s transfer to Auschwitz, on May 30, 1943.

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Provisional OSS Plat. in Night Recon (Arakan Coast) Burma (1944/1945)

1-usmc
(Photos NARA, Site : Paperless EUCMH)

Provisional OSS Platoon in Night Reconnaissance
Arakan Coast, Burma, October 1944 through April 1945
India – Burma Campaign
Capt Martin J. Waters, Jr., Infantry
Co author : Douglas L. Waters (son of Martin “Joe” Waters)
Operation Type : Amphibious Landing by Units of Platoon Strength, or less, for Purposes or Limited Reconnaissance.

Below is a picture of my father after the siege at N’Phum Ga, Maggott Hill. He was the OSS (Office of Strategic Services) officer attached to the 2-Bn, Blue Co, I&R (reconnaissance) Platoon of the Merrill’s Marauders, 5307-C-(P). This was prior to the Amphibious missions on the Arakan coast with the British commandos. They were surrounded by the Japanese and greatly outnumbered and held on for two weeks until relief came. They were bonsai charged every day and received artillery rounds from the Japs constantly. The Platoon leader became a psychological casualty and remained speechless in his foxhole during most of the siege. My father took over command of the platoon and even though his men wanted to surrender he kept them going, sometimes with threat of a .45 ACP. If the men surrendered he knew the Japs would have killed everyone. Below is the citation for the action and a happier time back in the US after Burma (he’s the big guy in the middle with the tan waistcoat)

Martin-Joe-Waters
(Photo Douglas L. Waters)

Citation
First Lieutenant Martin J. Waters 0-454133, Cavalry, Army of the United States is awarded the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious service during the period of February 19, 1944 to April 16, 1944. During this period Lt Waters was attached to an Intelligence and Reconnaissance (I&R) Platoon of the 5307 Composite Unit (Provisional) and proceeded the march of the unit by 24 hours in all engagements. Lt Waters marched over 300 miles through enemy occupied territory and participated in 3 battles : Walabum, Shaduzup, Inkangayawng. Wen the platoon leader became a casualty during a 14 days the I&R platoon was surrounded at Maggot Hill, Lt Waters took command and due to his leadership and initiative, the platoon was able to hold on until relief came.

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