Grandson of Auschwitz survivor buys Mengele's diary
Buyer intends to donate diary to a Holocaust museum, said Bill Panagopulos of Alexander Autographs.
The grandson of a Holocaust survivor has purchased the diary of Dr. Josef Mengele, which was put up for sale in the United States, a Connecticut-based auctioneer said Tuesday.
The buyer, an East Coast Jewish philanthropist who remained anonymous, paid an undisclosed sum for the 180-page journal, which he intends to donate to a Holocaust museum, said Bill Panagopulos of Alexander Autographs.
He said the buyer's grandmother had encountered Mengele at the Auschwitz concentration camp.
Dr. Mengele conducted cruel experiments at Auschwitz and killed children with lethal injections. He supervised the selection of transports arriving at the camp, sending 400,000 Jews to their death.
Entries in the journal begin in June 1960 in South America, where Mengele found refuge after World War II. They include statements on the need to sterilize people with "deficient genes."
Panagopulos told Haaretz he had "spent an hour on the telephone with the buyer and he described to me how his grandmother, a Hungarian Jew now 86, distinctly remembered encountering Mengele at Auschwitz."
"I have to believe she went through 'selection,' as she vividly remembers Mengele's perfect grooming, crisply-tailored uniform, and most distinctly, the ever-present white gloves worn during his camp rounds," said the auctioneer. "The buyer, who insists on anonymity, intends to donate the manuscript to a Holocaust-related institution."
The journal is written in German in a children's notebook titled Illustrated Zoology. It begins in June 1960, in Argentina, 19 years before the world's most hunted Nazi war criminal drowned - or possibly suffered a stroke - while swimming off the shore of Bertioga, Brazil.
The journal was found many years later by the Brazilian police and sent to his family. A person "close to the family" - believed to be Mengele's son - passed them on or sold them to a person in the United States, who sold them to the auction house.
"I'm overjoyed that the text is going where it belongs - into the hands of scholars and historians," Panagopulos told Haaretz.
Mengele, who was notorious for the brutal experiments he performed on camp inmates, outlined in the diary his impressions and thoughts on culture, religion, history and biology, developing the racial doctrine which served as the Nazi regime's ideological basis.
"The real problem is to define when human life is worth living and when it has to be eradicated," Mengele writes in the diary. "Everything will end in catastrophe if natural selection is altered to the point that gifted people are overwhelmed by billions of morons."
"We have to prevent the rise of the idiot masses," he writes, suggesting "inferior morons" be exterminated. "We have to make sure that nature's suspended eradication will continue through human arrangements ... birth control can be done by sterilizing those with deficient genes."
He writes that "weaker humans" must be excluded from reproducing, since "this is the only way for human beings to exist and to maintain themselves."
"Biology doesn't support equal rights," the diary states. "Women shouldn't be working in higher positions. Women's work must depend on filling a biological quota."
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