During the Holocaust, thousands of doctors went to concentration camps to aid the injured. Approximately 30 doctors were stationed in Auschwitz to tend to the Jews’ wounds and perform necessary surgeries. Out of those doctors came the infamous Josef Mengele, famous for his unique preferences in the medical field. Dr. Mengele’s experiments were cruel, demeaning, and inhumane toward twins. Mengele’s cruelty and fascination for twins led him to be one of the most well-known doctors of the Holocaust.
While in Auschwitz Mengele performed various experiments on twins:” (h)e performed vivisection(s), (and) injected chemical(s) into (the twins’) eyes to try to change them… ” (Nazi Doctors). A vivisection is when a doctor performs any type of medical examination such as injecting chemicals into the patient’s eyes without giving the patient any type of anesthetic to numb the pain during an operation. Mengele tried to demonstrate anything which could be considered remotely of value in the name of science.
To show his cruelty toward twins, one of his experiments,” involve(d) (the) newborn babies being taken from their mother and left to starve to death; the next day the limbs (were) removed” (Evil and Medicine). When removing the limbs of the twins, Mengele forced the mother to witness her children being torn apart- limb from limb. Society cannot comprehend how Mengele appeared calm while leaving newborn babies to starve and their distraught mothers to watch. Within Mengele’s experiments on twins, he came across a pair of athletic and handsome twins, and Mengele ordered them to be placed in the examination room.
Mengele took his experiments seriously, he examined, “all parts of their heads… (E)xamination took almost days. [Then] they were completely X-rayed. The next part of the examination consisted of tubes being forced through their noses and into their lungs. They were then ventilated with a gas which caused them to cough so severely they had to be restrained. The sputum from the lungs was collected for examination,” (Medical Experiments) nothing was left unexamined.
Back then, being X-rayed had not yet been a safe method of examination, and those X-rayed usually suffered from the left over radiation. Seeing their “other half” hurt, gagged, and coughing violently made it far worse than being put through the experience themselves. After the examination of their heads, “the twins were then photographed for several days. The purpose of the photographs was to show hair patterns… (T)hey were required to stand with their arms lifted for many hours so the underarm hair could be photographed,” (Medical Experiments).
Mengele wanted these photographs to see any type of similarity between the twins’ hair to prove whether or not the twins were related. If the twins did not do so they would be placed in boiling vats of water, a fate far worse than being gassed in the gas chambers. Mengele conducted various inhumane experiments on numerous twins, in which some met their demise. To further his research on twins,”(h)e then proceeded to inject chloroform into their hearts, killing them instantly (and) then began dissecting and meticulously noting each and every piece of the twins’ bodies” (Angel of Death).
Chloroform is a colorless, sweet tasting liquid used chiefly in medicine as a solvent and formerly as an anesthetic, over use of this could kill the patient instantly. Mengele used chloroform inhumanely in order to further his research of twins in the medical field. One of his more inhumane experiments was,” an operation by which two Gypsy children were sewn together to create Siamese twins; the hands… became badly infected where the veins had been resected” (Angel of Death). When sewing the twins together, he used no anesthetic where he resected the veins and did not sanitize his tools, infecting the hands of the children.
What Mengele could have done was try to separate a pair of conjoined twins rather than create them himself; doing so would provide more information in the medical field. At any given moment in time thousands of dogs suffer mistreatment by cruel people. Those dogs- much like those under the control of Mengele- could not protect themselves from the harm their owners convey toward them. Mengele used cruel, demeaning, and inhumane methods to research on twins. Works Cited “Evil and Medicine: Why We Must Remember Mengele. ” The Age – Business, World & Breaking News | Melbourne, Australia. Web. 15 Mar.