Holocaust-Josef Mengele

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"Holocaust" is a word of Greek origin meaning "sacrifice by fire." In 1933, The Nazis came to power and attempted to meet their goal of creating a utopian world full of Aryan’s (blond hair, blue eyed humans) and free of any others that interfered, such as the Jewish community. To meet this goal, the Nazi’s believed that sending all that interfered to concentration camps, more commonly known as death camps. Many people believe that Adolph Hitler and his supporters were behind this inhumane massacre. One such supporter is the infamous Dr. Josef Mengele who was a doctor at Auschwitz-Birkneau concentration camp. In 1986, songwriter and guitarist Jeff Hanneman was reading a book about the holocaust and wrote the song “Angel of Death” performed by the band Slayer. “Angel of Death” has become a very famous song in World History and contains very graphic lyrics that paint a picture in ones mind of how horrible the holocaust really was. Although the holocaust went on for quite some time before American liberated the camps, it deeply impacted our country. Between the Russian and American troops, all of the camps were liberated by 1945. All of the soldiers that actually went to the camps to free the inmates will forever have that terrible memory. In the book, Children of the Flames: Dr. Josef Mengele and the Untold Story of the Twins of Auschwitz by Lucette Matalon Lagnado, inmates and liberators were both interviewed. Both mentioned that the terrible smell, the grotesque living conditions, and the skeletons that had managed to survive, is an image that will never go away. Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman wrote "Angel of Death" after reading books about Nazi physician Josef Mengele while on tour with the band. Hanneman said "I remember stopping someplace where I bought two books on Mengele. I thought, 'This has gotta be some sick stuff.' So when it came time to do the record, that stuff was still in my head—that’s where the lyrics to “Angel of Death” came from." The lyrics detail Mengele's surgical experiments on patients at the Auschwitz concentration camp. Mengele's explorations were conducted on such groups as dwarves and twins, and included both physical and psychological examinations. Among the tests he performed that are mentioned in "Angel of Death" are experimental surgeries performed without anesthesia, transfusion of blood between twins, the sewing of bodies, isolation endurance, gassing, injections with lethal germs, sex change operations, and the removal of organs and limbs. "Angel of Death" caused outrage among survivors of the Holocaust, as well as their families and the general public. The controversy lead to accusations of Nazi sympathizing which have followed Slayer throughout their career. Hanneman counteracted asserting: "I know why people misinterpret it – it's because they get this knee–jerk reaction to it. When they read the lyrics, there's nothing I put in the lyrics that says necessarily he was a bad man, because to me – well, isn't that obvious? I shouldn’t have to tell you that.” Hannemans lyrics and quotations obviously won over the public because “Angel of Death” has became an extremeley famous song in World History. It’s hard for people who learn about the holocaust and listen to the lyrics believe that something so terrible happened. The idea of one man, Josef Mengele, killing so many people. Mengele was born in Bavaria shortly before World War I to an upper middle class family which ran a machine tools business. He was always a very talented student and went to Munich in the 1920’s to study medicine. He was studying under Otmar von Verschuer, the director of the Institute for Racial Hygiene at the University of Frankfurt. The main emphasis of his research was the importance of heredity within the context of Nazi "race science." By the time his education had finished Mengele was a member of both the National Socialist Party and the SS. He was a fanatic anti-Semite and hated the...
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