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Mengele Hometown Opens Victim Memorial

March 8, 2005
The hometown of Nazi war criminal Josef Mengele opened a memorial to his victims Tuesday aimed as an indelible reminder of the horrors of German history. The sculpture was erected at the Dossenbergerhof elementary school in the Bavarian town of Günzburg, where the physician who
would become known as the Nazi "Angel of Death" was born in 1911. "No one can divorce himself from the history of his people. One should not and must not let history rest because otherwise it can rise again and become part of the present," reads the inscription, surrounded by pairs of weeping and terror-struck eyes. Mengele conducted a series of gruesome medical experiments on prisoners at the Auschwitz death camp between 1943 and 1945, targeting twins, gypsies and dwarves in particular. The victims endured injections to change the color of their eyes, sterilization, inoculation with poisons and germs, amputations and unnecessary removal of organs, often without anesthesia. Mengele also took part in the brutal selection process at the entrance ramp of Auschwitz-Birkenau, deciding which deportees would be imprisoned at the camp and which would be sent immediately to the gas chambers. After the war, Mengele was able to flee occupied Germany for South America with the help of his family and escaped justice until his death in Brazil in 1979. (AFP)