Pope Francis kisses number tattooed on 80-year-old Auschwitz prisoner’s arm

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Dr.  Josef Mengele, an SS physician from 1943 to 1945, was known as the 'Angel of Death' for supervising gruesome experiments at the Auschwitz extermination camp in Poland

Dr. Josef Mengele, an SS physician from 1943 to 1945, was known as the ‘Angel of Death’ for supervising gruesome experiments at the Auschwitz extermination camp in Poland

Immaculately dressed, it was Josef Mengele who greeted the doomed arrival at the Nazi extermination camp Auschwitz in occupied Poland.

With a flick of his gloved hands, the supreme arbiter of life and death would send terrified prisoners to work or to death in the gas chambers.

But many were condemned to a total devilish lot; they became guinea pigs on his operating table as he continued his insane quest to clone blue-eyed Aryan supermen. Most of his victims died in terrible pain without anesthesia.

Fascinated by idiosyncrasies, victims of Mengele’s medical experiments were chosen based on different eye colors, growth abnormalities such as clubfoot or hunchback, giant or dwarfism, twins and gypsies.

One chosen “specimen” that he sent to his lab for study was the head of a 12-year-old boy that he was going to dissect.

Twins had a special fascination with him and it is estimated that he studied about 3,000 of them – but only 100 pairs survived.

Mengele once impregnated twins with the sperm of another twin to see if she would have twins.

When there was only one baby, a survivor claimed to have ripped the baby from the mother’s womb and tossed the child into an oven and walked away.

Mengele had a doctorate in medicine from the University of Frankfurt, but used his knowledge in a nauseating way at Auschwitz concentration camp, where he conducted experiments as an SS doctor from 1943 to 1945.

The so-called Angel of Death was on the 1944 Allied Commanders Most Wanted List, but it escaped to South America and was never found

The so-called Angel of Death was on the 1944 Allied Commanders Most Wanted List, but it escaped to South America and was never found

Although inmates transferred to his wing for study fled the gas chambers and were well fed, they often ended up with an even more painful death.

Mengele regularly performed surgeries without anesthesia and was given bodies to work on by simply injecting chloroform into the inmates’ hearts while they slept, which would kill them in seconds.

He was most interested in heredity and once tried to change the color of children’s eyes by injecting chemicals directly into them.

Pregnant women were also selected. He was known to have performed vivisections on them before sending them to the death chambers.

Prisoners with schizophrenia and depression were subjected to electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).

The goal was to treat incapacitated prisoners so that they could return to work.

Most of the experiments were unsuccessful and resulted in the inmates’ deaths.

The so-called Angel of Death was on the Allied Commanders’ Most Wanted List of 1944, but it escaped to South America and was never found, despite the best efforts of private investigators and Israel’s intelligence agency Mossad.

He died in 1979 of a stroke while swimming, and thirteen years later, DNA tests proved his identity without question.

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