The life story of Josef Mengele is one that is filled many twists and turns that play out like a suspense story with an ending that does not seem to fit what one would expect. The authors of the book Mengele: The Complete Story, Gerald L. Posner and John Ware, wrote this book largely with information taken from diaries and letters of Mengele’s, and interviews with those who knew him. It is a look into the life and times of a man whose nickname was “The Angel of Death.'; Josef’s life and post-mortem fate could be divided into three different chapters. His pre-war life and life during World War II was one of privilege and freedom to satisfy his perverse desire to perform bizarre and mostly useless medical experiments on unwilling participants in Nazi death camps. His post-war life consisted of being constantly on the run; a lonely and depressed fugitive wanted by countries worldwide for the atrocities he committed against Jews, Poles, Gypsies, and others during World War II. His lonely death by drowning, in Brazil, and humiliating post-mortem fate suited the man well. Although this report might seem to follow a chronological order, it is not simply a telling of a life story. It is a look into who Josef Mengele was, and how he changed over the years.
The authors underlying main theme, throughout the book, seemed to be to show that Josef Mengele was not who his infamous legend would dictate. It is true that he was a cold and ruthless killer who murdered thousands of innocent people. He earned the nickname “The Angel of Death'; for the way he would remain calm and composed while performing such torturous an act as a live dissection of a human being. He had a sick fascination with twins. He believed that twins held the secret to discovering how to perfect a master race. The following is a description by Vera Alexander, a witness of Mengele’s horrors, of a common experiment Mengele would perform on twins:
“One day SS men came and took two children away. They were two of my pets, Tito and Nino. One of them was a hunchback. Two or three days later, an SS man brought them back in a terrible state. They had been cut. The hunchback was sewn to the other child, back to back, their wrists back to back too. There was a terrible smell of gangrene. The cuts were dirty and the children cried every night.';(P.37 par.4)
Forced childbirth, by jumping on a woman’s stomach until the fetus was expelled from the womb, needless amputations, and sterilization of thousands were just a few of the things Mengele did that has earned him his reputation. However, this man who exhibited a sense of strength and fierceness to his victims was neither physically or emotionally strong. He was very insecure about his physical appearance, and constantly thought people were out to get him. He felt he had to belittle others accomplishments in order to make himself feel more confident. Mengele especially hated...