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The Search for Mengele
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The most notorious of 24 SS doctors at Auschwitz concentration camp, Josef Mengele, "The Angel of Death," sent hundreds of thousands of Jews to their deaths and performed appalling experiments on living children. For forty years after the Second World War, he was one of the world's most wanted war criminals - yet he was never brought to Justice. The Search for Mengele Examines his life through the eyes of those who knew him and traces his escape through Germany to Italy, then to Argentina, Paraguay and ultimately, Brazil, where he drowned in 1984.
Those who protected him talk of the infamous Nazi doctor living out his last years in poverty, cut off from his wealthy family back home - and subject to perhaps the final irony, hiding out amongst a multi-racial society. But is it too easy to simply dismiss Mengele as a monster? Was he alone responsible, or was he the product of a warped system of values? If so, could the whole gruesome episode of history be repeated in the future? And why was he never caught? "The Search for Mengele" seeks the answers to these questions.
Filmed in ten countries including Germany, Israel, Poland and Brazil and featuring numerous interviews The picture which emerges of Mengele from the interviewees in the film is often quite different from the standard view. They describe his years as a "likeable" and "outstanding" student in Germany, as a highly qualified young doctor, a "strikingly handsome" SS officer on the Eastern front and, later in life, as an embittered and paranoiac fugitive. Interviewees include Rolf Mengele, who visited his father in Paraguay in 1977 and pressed him to answer for his past actions. In Rolf's words, "'If they really wanted to get him, they could have, but there were long periods in his life when they did not want to."
Top Customer Reviews
Of course, we do learn about Mengele's youth, family life, medical education and his ultimate involvement at Auschwitz including his "experiments" especially on twins and children all in the name of developing an Aryan/German "master race." Nevertheless, the documentary tells Josef Mengele's story with an emphasis on his hiding in South America from Israeli and other authorities as they searched for him to prosecute him and unquestionably sentence him to death for his crimes against humanity. The filmmakers used still photos; interview footage with his son Rolf and people who sheltered Mengele when he was in South American countries; silent archival footage and more to inform the viewer about Mengele and exactly how he escaped out of Europe to South America where he hid in Buenos Aires, Paraguay and São Paulo among other locations. The escape story and route is somewhat complicated but it is all very clearly explained.Read more ›
There's nothing new under the sun about the Angel of Death, especially since his family and friends gave up everything once his death was finally discovered years after the fact. He was hardly the protected VIP featured in "Boys of Brazil", nor was he the destitute old man depicted by his intimates, though the truth probably lies somewhere in between. Frost is one of our great contemporary journalists, giving this documentary a suspenseful whodunit atmosphere taking it a step beyond the Nazi tattlers glutting the market.
If you've never read the strange tale of Mengele's life and times, or if you're looking for a novel addition for your collection, "The Search for Mengele" is a worthwhile purchase.
The documentary features interviews with a number of people who personally knew him. Their perspectives are certainly interesting and help to built a portrait of this war criminal. The interview with Mengele's son, Rolf, who looks uncannily like his father, is unexpectedly moving.
It seems that even though Mengele evaded capture by the authorities for his war crimes, there was no happily ever after for him. Any attempt at a normal life came to nothing, as life with a fugitive would prove too daunting. He lived a life on the run, always fearful of capture.
This documentary features a number of disturbing images from the concentration camps. So, it is not for the squeamish. It also attempts to build an objective portrait of one of the most notorious war criminals of the Nazi regime.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a basic, TV kind of review of Mengele and the search for him after the war, including some survivor accounts of his treatment of prisoners and medical experiments in... Read morePublished 1 month ago by T Keith Abramowski
So once again the cruel and truly evil people of the world get to live full lives until old age and death. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Herzausstahl
Exciting movie from the beginning to the end.Do not forget to watch it.Published 1 month ago by Richard
Factual, historical and shocking documentary. Many graphic images and testimonies that are disturbing. Much more disturbing is how this Nazi escaped international justice.Published 1 month ago by Bob Zag