Auschwitz "Angel of Death" Josef Mengele's Unknown Writings to be Auctioned
STAMFORD, Conn., June 30, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Sixty-six years after the notorious Nazi death camp at Auschwitz was liberated and the horrific crimes of Dr. Josef Mengele were first revealed, Alexander Historic Auctions of Stamford, Connecticut (an affiliate of Alexander Autographs, Inc., www.alexautographs.com) has obtained for auction all of the war criminal's writings, including his autobiography describing his escape from Germany and life in South America, diaries, philosophical tracts, racial and political commentary, poetry, short stories, and travelogues. The archive is composed of over 3,300 pages of handwritten text, some illustrated, largely in bound journals, written while Mengele was in hiding in Paraguay and Brazil between 1960 and 1975.
The archive will be offered in Alexander's July 21, 2011 auction of historic militaria and autographs.
Josef Rudolf Mengele joined Heinrich Himmler's SS in 1938 and after serving on the Eastern Front, was transferred to Auschwitz in 1943. He initially gained notoriety for being one of the physicians who supervised the "selection" of arriving transports of prisoners, determining who would be gassed and who would live simply with the wave of a finger. However, he became far more infamous for performing grisly human experiments on camp inmates, including children and twins, for which he earned the frightening nickname "Angel of Death." In time, Mengele himself came to represent the Nazi concentration camp system with all of its cruelties.
At war's end, Mengele fled to South America where he resided living in wealth, then poverty, until his accidental death by drowning in Brazil in 1979. The public announcement of his death and the discovery of these journals would take another six years, as Mengele had sympathetic friends in Germany and Brazil who continued to protect his anonymity. After Mengele's death was finally made public, these journals were seized by Brazilian police – it was only then that the secrets of the "Angel of Death's" 34-year life on the run were finally exposed.
The autobiographical material in this archive, about 25% of its content, is of such historical importance, it was quoted and paraphrased in the mid-1980's by Bundt Magazine and by authors Gerald Posner and John Ware in their biography of Mengele. Bundt and Posner/Ware quoted excerpts very sparingly, leaving the vast majority of this material unpublished and but for Bundt and Posner/Ware, unviewed.
Writing in the third person, or using the pseudonym "Andreas," Mengele describes his capture by American forces, hiding on a farm while furtively meeting his wife, escape over the Brenner Pass to Italy, arrest, passage to Argentina, and life in Paraguay and Brazil. The balance of the archive consists of Mengele's writings on political, philosophical and racial theories ("Black people remind us of night time and the dangers of the night...like the raven...the dark soul..."), evolution, eugenics, his heritage and Germany's future. He also offers his opinions on a myriad of subjects, including race-mixing, the Nuremburg war crimes trials, justification of the concentration camp system, and denial of the conditions at the camps. Diaries covering three years are present, as are a grouping of short stories, travelogues, and romantic poetry written by the ex-murderer.
Taken as a whole and carefully read and analyzed, this archive offers an in-depth view into the cruelest mind of the twentieth century. Unlike a grouping of static wartime documents or reports, these are intensely personal writings of a desperate man, not penned over a single evening but over fifteen years as he fled his pursuers. They illustrate a remorseless, angry, vain, pseudo-intellectual murderer seeking to leave his mark on the world.
Bill Panagopulos, president of Alexander Historic Auctions, has a strong opinion on the sale of the archive: "Scholarly institutions or historic collections should obtain these writings not as a 'remembrance' of a horrific period of world history, but more as a learning tool for future generations to recognize the psychopathic mentality that incited the Holocaust so that similar genocides are never repeated."
The archive may be viewed at Alexander's offices, by appointment.
SOURCE Alexander Autographs