Digging Up Josef Mengele

Notorious Nazi doctor, ‘Angel of Death’ Josef Mengele, spent the last twenty years of his life on the run. His remains were recovered in São Paulo on 6th June, 1985, when Brazilian Police dug up the grave of a man named “Wolfgang Gerhard” - later proven to be Mengele, who’d drowned at a beach resort at the age of 68.

Mengele, responsible for sending up to 400,000 Jews to their deaths at Auschwitz, was able to escape to Argentina via Italy after the War, even living freely under his real name for a period, before Mossad and ‘Nazi Hunter’ Simon Wiesenthal began hunting him down more assiduously.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly reveal how frustratingly close Israel’s secret services came to capturing him in his lifetime; explain how he was able to live under cover in South America for decades; and consider the irony of what finally happened to his skeleton…

Content Warning: depictions of Auschwitz, Holocaust torture techniques

Further Reading:

• ‘Son Says Mengele's Dead, Tells Why He Kept Silent : Learned of Death in 1979’ (Los Angeles Times, 1985): https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1985-06-11-mn-10339-story.html

• ‘How did the infamous Josef Mengele escape punishment?’ (The Spectator, 2020): https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/how-did-the-infamous-josef-mengele-escape-punishment/

• ‘Confirming the remains of Josef Mengele’ (NBC, 1985): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m46WUDwxxpA

#Nazis #Racism #Jewish #WW2 #Brazil #80s

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The Retrospectors are Olly Mann, Rebecca Messina & Arion McNicoll, with Matt Hill.

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