The Max Planck Psychiatric Institute in Munich found Josef Mengele’s secret stash of body parts including brains, in their archives.
The discovery of the collection once used by the Nazi, known as the “Angel of Death” has left officials at the institute “embarrassed.”
According to the institute officials, the samples were once used by the Nazi brain researcher Julius Hallervorden. He had served as the head of the Planck Institute’s neuropathy department before he began his infamous experiments on humans in World War II.
A committee has been established to identify the remains and has already identified some.
The Institute wrote a statement on their website that said, in part, “We are embarrassed by these findings and the blemish of their discovery in the archives. We will update the public with any further information that comes to light with complete transparency.”
The discovery occurred last year but was not announced until Israeli media reported on it this year.
Professor Dan Macham, director of the International Centre for Holocaust Research, explained that It’s surprising, but not completely. They know that experiments were conducted and that not everything was erased and buried. For example, two years ago, were found bones of victims on whom experiments were conducted, in Berlin in the trash. He said: “Next year, we’re going to organise a convention about this issue.”
“This current finding is something new that was previously unknown, and joins other events that are suddenly uncovered after 70 years.”
“This chapter is not completely finished, at all. It’s hard to know if these samples are only from ‘mercy killings’ – the Nazi jargon for the murder of sick people for the purposes of experimentation – or if they also derive from other sources.”
Mengele was responsible for torturing and killing thousands of children in experiments conducted at the Auschwitz concentration camp.
In one experiment, he injected chemicals into children’s eyes to try to change their color. In another, he sewed children together to try to create Siamese twins. In yet another, he put 14 pairs of Gypsy twins to sleep, euthanized them, and then dissected their bodies while taking meticulous notes of each body part.
The notes from his experiments were destroyed. It is estimated that at least 3,000 twins were experimented on by him. Thousands more were killed.
Strangely, camp survivors described Mengele as a gentle man who made friends with the children, sometimes giving them chocolate.
He became a father figure for many children who had been separated from their families. Still, the children knew that they could be killed at any time.
Mengele once drew a line 5’2” from the floor. Anyone shorter than the line was sent to their death.
He was capable of extreme bursts of cruelty and violence. Author Robert Jay Lifton documented an incident in his book The Nazi Doctors.
A woman did not want to be separated from her 13-year-old daughter. She bit and scratched the SS soldier who tried to separate them. Mengele drew his handgun and shot both the mother and the child. He then sent all the people in her transport to the gas chamber.
Another survivor recalled that Mengele handled a lice infestation by sending all 750 women in that block to the gas chamber.