Bones of Nazi doctor known as 'Angel of Death' are being used in Brazil forensics course

German doctor Josef Mengele drowned in Brazil in 1979, after he spent years on the run from Mossad agents.

February 25, 2017 08:22
2 minute read.

Bones of Josef Mengele are being used in Brazil forensics course (Reuters)

Bones of Josef Mengele are being used in Brazil forensics course (Reuters)


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The bones of a Nazi doctor dubbed the "Angel of Death" is being used by students at Sao Paulo University to gather information on his life fleeing authorities.

German doctor Josef Mengele drowned in Brazil in 1979, after he spent years on the run from Mossad agents.

He is accused of being responsible for carrying out experiments on prisoners in the Auschwitz concentration camp.

Mengele's bones lay unclaimed at Sao Paulo's morgue, called the Legal Medical Institute, for years, until forensics Doctor Daniel Munoz thought they would be good to use in his university course.

He told Reuters that their unique characteristics make them a worthwhile study.

"The research is based on several points of agreement with military documentation on Mengele. We concluded that there were several areas of significance which were particular (to the bones) in helping in identification," he said.

During the course, students investigate Mengele's bones and piece them to key moments in his life during wartime Europe and then on the run in Latin America.

Much of Mengele's life remains a mystery. After the fall of Hitler, Mengele reportedly fled to Buenos Aires where he is believed to have lived for a decade.

After Mossad agents closed in on his location, he allegedly traveled to Paraguay and then Brazil.

He was reportedly buried in a Brazilian cemetery under a false name. But investigations soon connected Mengele to his tombstone and an exhumation was ordered to prove his identity.

"The Federal Police carried out the investigation and came to the conclusion that Mengele lived and died in Brazil. They asked the Legal Medical Institute (morgue) to do the exhumation and identification," he added.

The forensic students are encouraged to examine particular characteristics in Mengele's skull to find out about his life. For example, a small hole in his cheekbone indicates the Nazi doctor suffered from sinusitis that he was treating with a razor blade.

"These bones have many important characteristics that can help in training these doctors. It is very important they are here not because it is Mengele, but because it is simply the characteristics of these bones will help us to teach and to better train our specialists," said Munoz.

Mengele is accused of war crimes including is choosing Auschwitz concentration camp victims for the gas chambers and performing fatal human experiments on prisoners.

Mengele fled Auschwitz in January 1945 just before the arrival of Soviet troops.

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