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Mengele: The Complete Story

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Original Language: English | 408 pp. | 2000

2 Seas Represents: Dutch, Danish, Icelandic, Norwegian and Swedish rights.

HISTORY | HOLOCAUST

A fascinating accpunt of Mengele’s life on the run and the fruitless efforts to apprehend him. — Los Angeles Times Book Review

This is indeed the complete story, superior to other books on Mengele. — Boston Jewish Times

Well-written, clearly documented, and frequently exciting, this is the book to have. — Library Journal

[A] graphic and detailed history, [filled with] interesting revelations…The authors present a vivid portrait of Mengele. — The Washington Times

Posner is recognized as a leading authority on Mengele…Posner offers a nonstop cloak-and-daggar account of the attempts to locate Mengele in Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil, and of his frantic attempts to stay one step ahead of his would-be captors. A sound, respectable work [that] takes the title of ‘definitive’ over several other Mengele books. — Kirkus Reviews

[A] thorough, well-researched study… The authors have provided the most complete portrait of Mengele that we are ever likely to have. — The Baltimore Sun

The story of Mengele has now been excellently told… This book is a considerable sucess. — The London Times

Mengele’s trail through Germany, Southern Europe, and South America is recounted with detail and insight in this comprehensive biography of an elusive and devious war criminal. — The San Diego Tribune

With its graphic descriptions of Mengele’s brutal Auschwitz experiments, this book is not for the squeamish… [A] fascinating portrait of a man without a conscience. — Newsday

The reader who enjoys the permutations and complications of the chase will be fascinated by the details of Mengele’s life on the run… The authors have done a meticulous piece of work in tracing his life, dispelling myths and substantiating facts. — St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Formidably and exhaustively researched, the book has the ring of authenticity. — Detroit Free Press

Posner and Ware have superlatively recorded the details of Mengele’s fantastic career… [A] book that makes the blood boil. — The Cleveland Plain Dealer

[A] welcome addition to the study of the Holocaust…. Mengele offers us insight into one of the most infamous perpetrators of the holocaust. — Michael Berenbaum, director, Sigi Ziering Institute, American Jewish University

Based on exclusive and unrestricted access to more than 5,000 pages of personal writings and family photos, this definitive biography of German physician and SS-Hauptsturmfuhrer Josef Mengele (1911-1979) probes the personality and motivations of Auschwitz’s “Angel of Death.” From May 1943 through January 1945, Mengele selected who would be gassed immediately, who would be worked to death, and who would serve as involuntary guinea pigs for his spurious and ghastly human experiments (twins were Mengele’s particular obsession). With authority and insight, Mengele examines the entire life of the world’s most infamous doctor.

This biography of Auschwitz’s most infamous doctor, Josef Mengele, is critically acclaimed as the definitive study. What sets it apart from other books about the “Angel of Death” is that Mengele’s only son – overcoming the strident objections of other relatives – gave the authors unrestricted access to more than 5,000 pages of Mengele’s diaries, private letters and intimate notes by the fugitive Nazi while he was on the run from 1945 until his death in 1979. Included in the unprecedented collection from Mengele’s son were nearly a thousand photographs, some of which are published for the first time in Mengele. Moreover, one of its authors – Gerald Posner – had compiled in the early 1980s the largest private archive of documents and interviews about Mengele. Posner was called before the U.S. Congress to testify when the American Justice Department accelerated its hunt for the elusive fugitive in 1985, a year before Mengele was published.

Not only is Mengele based on sometimes astonishing revelations gleaned from the doctor’s private writings, but it includes groundbreaking interviews with some Mengele relatives, the neo-Nazi families who afforded him safe haven in South America, and even some Israeli Mossad agents who for the first time spoke about how they had located but failed to capture him in the early 1960s. Nineteen of the twenty chapters are about Mengele’s life on the run and how he got away.

Mengele is packed with startling disclosures. It is the first book to report that the American Army twice detained and released Mengele in Germany in the immediate aftermath of the war. Laid bare is the internecine battle inside Israeli intelligence to kidnap Mengele and how the plan was scuttled just when agents in the field had found his jungle hideout. For the first time, the indispensable financial and emotional support provided by the Mengele family, as well as the network of ex-Nazis that helped him stay free, is laid bare in this damning exposé. And the shocking incompetence of both government agencies and private Nazi hunters is unmasked.

The heart of the story, however, is Mengele himself. He elusive Nazi is finally captured fully in the pages of this book. This biography takes the reader into a riveting tale of a life on the run. The authors use exclusively obtained documents from the Argentine Federal Police to reveal Mengele’s high society days in the 1950s in the Nazi-infested capital of Buenos Aires. After the Israelis kidnapped Nazi henchman Adolf Eichmann in 1959, in a Buenos Aires suburb, the book follows Mengele into Paraguay and ultimately Brazil, where he managed through a loose-knit Fourth Reich to stay one step ahead of Nazi hunters. The Mengele that emerges is a bitter and unrepentant Nazi. The authors provide the only insider account of the climactic meeting two years before Mengele’s death, when his only son travels clandestinely to Brazil to confront his father for the first time in his adult life. That son wanted an answer to “What made Mengele Mengele?” The answer as revealed in this spellbinding biography is chilling and stays with the reader long after the last page.