Josef Mengele's Use Of Eugenics

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“We were very frightened of the experiments. They took a lot of blood from us. We fainted several times, and the SS guards were very amused with us” (Lagnado 66). Josef Mengele was an infamous Nazi doctor at Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II. He performed grotesque medical experiments on humans using his knowledge in eugenics and twin studies. Mengele’s application of eugenics had a great impact during the Holocaust that has left a footprint on today. That is why it is important to understand the history of eugenics, Mengele’s experiments at Auschwitz, and his escape from justice. Mengele’s childhood was during the Progressive Era which lasted from 1890 to 1920.
During that time period, new innovations and philosophies were
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It “became orthodox thinking in the highest circles of American academics, science, government, law, social activism, and philanthropy” (Rubenfeld 2); undoubtedly, Germany wanted to remain in the competition of completing the master race, so German scientists began experimenting and researching on their own. It was the breeding of humans to create stronger, more perfect people. Limitations to this master race were anyone that made the human species weaker because of a disability or a disease. Being Jewish happened to be one of these so-called diseases. “The [Aryans] became the patient. People with disabilities, Jews, homosexuals, blacks, and others became the germs under the microscope to be eliminated in order to save the [Aryans]” (Rubenfeld 2). Since Jews had their own rules and customs, they were seen as threats to the orderly German society. Many social issues had been happening from the end of World War I in 1918 to the early 1930s in Germany. Germans were unhappy that Jewish-owned stores were more prosperous than German-owned establishments. They were also angered by the fact that Jews gained powerful positions in society rather than Aryans and that they made decisions Germans didn’t always agree with. This is called Anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism is the hostility towards or prejudice against Jews, and it is a form of racism. Anti-Semitism has existed all over the world for thousands of years, and it stems from differences in…show more content…
It attracted 44% of the German medical professionals, including Josef Mengele, who by that time, had graduated with a medical degree from the University of Frankfurt am Main. After graduating, he enlisted in the Nazi Party’s military, or SA. It was there that he became avid about Nazism and joined their research staff at the Nazi Institut fur Erbbiologie und Rassenhygiene (Nazi Institute for Hereditary Biology and Racial Hygiene) in Frankfurt in 1934 with a specialization in twin and racial pedigree studies. Mengele became the assistant to Dr. Otmar von Verschuer in January 1937. Verschuer was a leading scientist known for his work with twin research. Six years later, Mengele went to work at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Anthropology, Human Genetics, and Eugenics. This facility was interestingly funded by the Rockefeller Foundation located in the United States, “which, according to historian Paul Weindling, ‘intervened from 1922 to save German medical sciences’” (Rubenfeld 2). Mengele was promoted to the rank of Schutzstaffel (SS), or Nazi Police, captain in April 1943, and soon after, he was transferred to Auschwitz in late May 1943 where he continued his twin studies.
The euthanasia program was the fulcrum for the Holocaust. If German medical professionals were willing to sterilize their fellow German citizens, to decide who will marry and reproduce, and to euthanize German children and adults, then
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