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They have a special mission to kidnap a girl, and the agent who recruits them tells them the war may come to an end if they succeed. What follows is a high octane thriller: There is plenty to like in terms of pace and adventure, but the book fails for me on the emotional level.
Our sentiments are also engaged by the girl who is kidnapped, but the plot then simplifies down to whether or not she will survive, and the author makes the wrong choice. Are these editorial errors? There are a couple of careless scenes that I felt could have been easily improved, and some lines that I would certainly have wanted rewritten: Reviewed by Richard Lee. RSS feeds are a way of keeping up with new content on the HNS website without having to keep checking back to see if we have added anything new. There he saw the opportunity to conduct genetic research on human subjects.
His subsequent experiments focused primarily on twins but had no regard for the health or safety of the victims.
Hitler’s Angel by William Osborne | Review | Historical Novels Review
Mengele sailed to Argentina in July , assisted by a network of former SS members. He initially lived in and around Buenos Aires , then fled to Paraguay in and Brazil in while being sought by West Germany, Israel, and Nazi hunters such as Simon Wiesenthal so that he could be brought to trial. He eluded capture in spite of extradition requests by the West German government and clandestine operations by the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad. He drowned after suffering a stroke while swimming off the Brazilian coast in and was buried under a false name.
His remains were disinterred and positively identified by forensic examination in Otmar Freiherr von Verschuer , a scientist conducting genetics research, with a particular interest in twins. The ideology of Nazism brought together elements of antisemitism , racial hygiene , and eugenics , and combined them with pan-Germanism and territorial expansionism with the goal of obtaining more Lebensraum living space for the Germanic people. He was seriously wounded in action near Rostov-on-Don in mid, and was declared unfit for further active service.
After recovery, he was transferred to the Race and Resettlement Office in Berlin. Incoming Jews were segregated; those deemed able to work were admitted into the camp, and those deemed unfit for labor were immediately killed in the gas chambers. Mengele and other SS doctors did not treat inmates, but supervised the activities of inmate doctors forced to work in the camp medical service. He served in this capacity at the gas chambers located in crematoria IV and V. In early , encouraged by von Verschuer, Mengele applied to transfer to the concentration camp service.
He was appointed by SS- Standortarzt Eduard Wirths , chief medical officer at Auschwitz, to the position of chief physician of the Zigeunerfamilienlager Romani family camp , located in the sub-camp at Birkenau. When an outbreak of noma a gangrenous bacterial disease of the mouth and face struck the Romani camp in , Mengele initiated a study to determine the cause of the disease and develop a treatment. He enlisted the aid of prisoner Dr. Berthold Epstein , a Jewish pediatrician and professor at Prague University.
Mengele isolated the patients in a separate barrack and had several afflicted children killed so that their preserved heads and organs could be sent to the SS Medical Academy in Graz and other facilities for study. The research was still ongoing when the Romani camp was liquidated and its remaining occupants killed in In response to a typhus epidemic in the women's camp, Mengele cleared one block of Jewish women and sent them to the gas chamber. The building was then cleaned and disinfected, and the occupants of a neighboring block were bathed, de-loused, and given new clothing before being moved into the clean block.
The process was repeated until all the barracks were disinfected. Similar disinfections were used for later epidemics of scarlet fever and other diseases, with infected prisoners being sent to the gas chambers. Mengele used Auschwitz as an opportunity to continue his anthropological studies and research on heredity, using inmates for human experimentation. Mengele's research subjects were better fed and housed than other prisoners and temporarily safe from the gas chambers.
The facility provided better food and living conditions than other areas of the camp, and even included a playground. He was capable of being so kind to the children, to have them become fond of him, to bring them sugar, to think of small details in their daily lives, and to do things we would genuinely admire And then, next to that, Well, that is where the anomaly lay. Twins were subjected to weekly examinations and measurements of their physical attributes by Mengele or one of his assistants. Many of the victims died while undergoing these procedures.
Mengele's experiments with eyes included attempts to change eye color by injecting chemicals into the eyes of living subjects and killing people with heterochromatic eyes so that the eyes could be removed and sent to Berlin for study.
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He brought along two boxes of specimens and records of his experiments. Most of the camp medical records had already been destroyed by the SS. Here he temporarily entrusted his incriminating Auschwitz documents to a nurse with whom he had struck up a relationship. Mengele was initially registered under his own name, but because of the disorganization of the Allies regarding the distribution of wanted lists and the fact that Mengele did not have the usual SS blood group tattoo , he was not identified as being on the major war criminal list.
After several months on the run, including a trip to the Soviet-occupied area to recover his Auschwitz records, Mengele found work near Rosenheim as a farmhand.
He sailed to Argentina in July. He next worked as a salesman for his family's farm equipment company, and beginning in he made frequent trips to Paraguay as sales representative for that region. In he rented a house in the suburb of Olivos. After obtaining a copy of his birth certificate through the West German embassy in , Mengele was issued an Argentine foreign residence permit under his real name.
He used this document to obtain a West German passport, also under his real name, and embarked on a visit to Europe. Martha and her son Karl Heinz followed about a month later, and the three took up residence together. The couple married while on holiday in Uruguay in and bought a house in Buenos Aires. Martha and Karl Heinz lived in a boarding house in the city until December , when they returned to Germany.
Mengele's name was mentioned several times during the Nuremberg trials , but Allied forces were convinced that he was dead.
In a search of the public records, Langbein found Mengele's divorce papers listing an address in Buenos Aires. He and Wiesenthal pressured West German authorities into drawing up an arrest warrant on 5 June , and starting extradition proceedings. By the time extradition was approved on 30 June , Mengele had already fled to Paraguay, where he was living on a farm near the Argentine border.
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He hoped to track down Mengele as well, so he too could be brought to trial in Israel. Surveillance of the house did not reveal Mengele or any members of his family, and the neighborhood postman said that although Mengele had recently been receiving letters there under his real name, he had since relocated, leaving no forwarding address.
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Harel's inquiries at a machine shop where Mengele had been part owner did not turn up any leads either, so he had to give up. Despite having provided Mengele with legal documents in his real name in , thus enabling him to regularize his residency in Argentina, West Germany offered a reward for his capture. Ongoing newspaper coverage of his wartime activities accompanied by photographs of the fugitive led Mengele to relocate again in Helped by an investment from Mengele, the couple bought a farm in Nova Europa , and Mengele was given the job of manager.
In the three bought a coffee and cattle farm in Serra Negra , with Mengele owning a half interest. Gerhard convinced them not to report Mengele's location to the authorities, saying they could themselves get into trouble for harboring the fugitive. Meanwhile, Zvi Aharoni , one of the Mossad agents who had been involved in the Eichmann capture, was placed in charge of a team of agents who had been tasked with locating Mengele and bringing him to trial in Israel.
Inquiries in Paraguay gave no clues as to his whereabouts, and they were unable to intercept any correspondence between Mengele and his wife Martha, then living in Italy. Agents following Rudel's movements did not produce any leads. Mengele and the Stammers bought a house on a farm in Caieiras in , with Mengele as half owner.
Mengele's health had been steadily deteriorating since , and he had a stroke in While visiting his friends Wolfram and Liselotte Bossert in the coastal resort of Bertioga on 7 February , he suffered another stroke while swimming and drowned. Other pseudonyms used by Mengele included Dr. Meanwhile, Mengele sightings were reported all over the world. Wiesenthal claimed to have information that placed Mengele on the Greek island of Kythnos in ,  Cairo in ,  in Spain in ,  and in Paraguay in , 18 years after he had left.
Shortly afterwards, the governments of West Germany, Israel, and the United States launched a coordinated effort to determine Mengele's whereabouts. Among the papers was a letter from Bossert notifying Sedlmeier of Mengele's death. Under interrogation, they revealed the location of the grave. He said that the news of his father's death had been kept quiet to protect the people who had sheltered him for many years. Mengele's life was the inspiration for a novel and film titled The Boys from Brazil , where a fictional Mengele portrayed by Gregory Peck  produces clones of Hitler in a clinic in Brazil.
Eight of the photographs include Mengele. In February , a page volume of Mengele's diary was sold by Alexander Autographs at auction for an undisclosed sum to the grandson of a Holocaust survivor.