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The Hunt for Nazis: The Real-Life Captures That Inspired The Debt
Posted August 22, 2011 to photo album "The Hunt for Nazis: The Real-Life Captures That Inspired The Debt"
John Madden’s THE DEBT tells the tale of a trio of Mossad agents who hunted down a wanted Nazi war criminal. We explore the stories of the many real-life Nazi war criminals who went into hiding after the war, and the people who tracked them down to bring them to justice.
Josef Mengele, the "White Angel"
Josef Mengele, second from left, relaxes with Auschwitz administrators in 1944
Josef Mengele was a member of the SS and a doctor at Birkenau, the extermination center at the Auschwitz prison camp complex. Camp residents called him the “White Angel.” Part of Mengele’s job was to sort out new arrivals at the camp. Dressed in his white doctor's uniform, he would direct, with an outstretched arm, those who were to be gassed one way and those who were to be spared death the other. He got the moniker “Angel of Death” for the medical “experiments” he performed on prisoners. Pregnant women who arrived at Auschwitz fell victim to his interest in vivisection, before being shuttled off to the gas chambers. Twins, however, were his favorite guinea pigs. Rena Kornreich Gelissen, who survived Auschwitz, gave this account: “Once Mengele’s assistant rounded up 14 pairs of Roma [Gypsy] twins during the night. Mengele placed them on his polished marble dissection table and put them to sleep. He then injected chloroform into their hearts, killing them instantly. Mengele then began dissecting and meticulously noting each piece of the twins' bodies.” Of the approximately 3,000 twins who entered Auschwitz, only about 200 survived.