Doctor Josef Mengele Essay

1624 words - 7 pages

Doctor Josef Mengele

One of the most demented doctors of the Nazi era went by the name of Josef Mengele. This was because of the gruesome experiments he conducted on woman, men, and children. Mengele wasn't always part of the Nazi culture. In fact, a lot of people don't seem to know how he ended up living the life that he did. Mengele started his career saving lives and helping people, not destroying them. So what caused him to change his ways so drastically? How could someone find it so easy to cause somebody else so much pain and agony?
Josef Mengele wasn't always a bad guy. During his childhood Mengele grew up in a Catholic family with both parents and two brothers, he being the oldest of the three. Shortly after his birth in 1911 his father became sole owner of a foundry that made farm equipment in Germany. His family became wealthy as the business prospered and they became the most powerful family in their town. While young Mengele was growing up, his parents were frequently absent due to the family business. But he expressed his desire to stand out from other members of his family and become successful in his own way, not involving the family business. Josef was a very excellent student. His favorite subject was anthropology, the study of the origin, development, and behavior of humankind. He abandoned the Catholic Church when he was a teenager and became a member of a patriotic young people's group ( “Josef Mengele.” Student Resources in Context ).
In 1930, young, teenage Mengele completed high school and left his home to study medicine at Munich University in Germany. Adolf Hitler was stirring up the Bavarian people at this time with his “anti-Jewish” ideas. He attracted large crowds, who gathered and listened with enthusiasm to his hate-filled speeches. Hitler made accusations against the Jews. He blamed them for Germany's humiliating loss of World War I and charged them with holding Germany back from becoming a world power. Hitler believed that the Jews were a "poisonous" race that did not deserve to be treated like actual humans. As a result to this, Hitler's followers sometimes attacked and humiliated innocent Jews in the streets. Mengele, however, did not join the Nazis, but did become a member of a youth group that marched in military-style uniforms at public events. At the university, Mengele became interested in studying how human society developed. A student who knew him at the time said that there were no signs that Mengele would become capable of the "savage acts" that he later committed. Mengele earned his Ph.D. in 1935 and then went to Leipzig, Germany, to work at a medical clinic. There he met his wife-to-be, Irene. In 1937, Mengele became a research assistant at an institute for heredity, biology, and racial purity at the University of Frankfurt in Germany. By this time he was totally supportive of the Nazi Party's theories of Arya superiority and became a member of the party. Mengele came to...

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