Guest Author - Christa Mackey
Think for a moment of the most horrific thing that has ever occurred in your own life. Close your eyes, if need be, and focus on that one thing. Allow the hideousness and the horror to return to you for just a moment.
What if that one horrific event had repercussions that affected not just you and your family, but thousands of people? Could you forgive the person involved? One woman, Eva Mozes Kor, says that is the first step in healing her wounds from the Holocaust, and, specifically, the forgiveness of the man that took her childhood and her twin sister, Dr. Josef Mengele.
On March 16, 1911, some would say that Lucifer took on human flesh and entered the world of men. Indeed, Mengele was a less savory individual and most well-known for his terrors at Auschwitz. Beyond his notoriety of being in charge of the gas chamber, Dr. Mengele also performed countless experiments on children, specifically twins.
Several different sources cite the fact that he would inject the eyes of twins with chemicals in an attempt to change their eye color. He would stitch them together; remove organs and limbs; perform twin-to-twin blood transfusions—all without anesthetics. If one twin died, the other could be killed and both of them autopsied.
Jewish children were not the only ones who were subjected to Dr. Mengele. May thousands of Gypsy children were as well. Mengele loved his work—he was a geneticist at heart. As harsh and cruel of a figure he appeared as people stepped off the trains at Auschwitz, he had a gentle touch with genetics. That is not say he was by any means “gentle.”
As the people from the trains to Auschwitz stepped off the transport, Mengele was there, looking impressively intimidating. Not a hair was out of place, his uniform perfectly pressed, his shoes brightly polished, he was the Angel of Death. “Death to the left, life to the right.” A flick of his hand would seal the fate of over four hundred thousand men, women, and children.
When Auschwitz closed, Mengele disguised himself as a regular German soldier and was permitted to leave. He eventually left Germany and took up residence in South America, spending thirty-five years in Paraguay and Brazil. Mengele died in 1979 of a stroke while in Brazil, swimming.
Very few of his children survived his experiments. Those that did are not without scars—physical and psychological. Those who survived the Holocaust itself are not without scars. Let us not forget what happened. Let us remember. Let us offer our arms in support and our hearts in love. Dr. Mengele’s “love” for his children was nothing but a mask of deception. Let ours be true. Let us never forget, but perhaps, find it within our souls to forgive.