Josef Mengele's Bones to Be Used for Medical Research in Brazil

The notorious Auschwitz doctor drowned off the coast of Brazil in 1979. The doctor who identified him has now been given permission to use the bones for teaching purposes.

Joseph Mengele
Joseph MengeleCredit: Getty images

The remains of notorious Nazi doctor Josef Mengele, known as the "Angel of Death," will be used for teaching anatomy to medical students, the Brazilian doctor who identified his body has said.

Mengele, who took refuge in South America after World War II, died in Brazil 37 years ago and was buried in an anonymous grave. Doctor Daniel Romero Muniz identified the body as that of the German war criminal seven years after Mengele's death.

Brazil has now given the doctor the right to keep the abandoned bones for medical research, the Mail Online website reported.

In a televised report on Brazilian TV last weekend, Muniz cut open the plastic sack containing Mengele’s body parts and took out the Auschwitz doctor's skull and bones for the first time in 30 years.

“[Mengele’s] bones will be a really good example for our students to learn from," said Muniz, a professor of medicine at the University of Sao Paulo. "They will be used to help train new doctors and will be particularly good for those students who are studying post mortem examinations.”

In his TV appearance, Muniz pointed out the features that had enabled him to identify Mengele in what he said was "one of the most important forensic investigations ever carried out in Brazil."

Holding Mengele’s head, he pointed to a small hole in the left cheek bone. "This hole showed Mengele suffered from sinusitis which over the years created an infection and left a small hole in the bone. This helped to identify him," Muniz said.

Mengele’s pelvic bone also helped confirm who he was, Muniz said. "He had a motorbike accident when he was in Auschwitz camp and the pelvis shows a fracture," he said.

Mengele eluded capture by Nazi hunters after the war with the help of his family in Germany, who sent him funds regularly. In 1949 he escaped to Austria and from there he made his way to Argentina.

He lived in Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil before suffering a stroke and drowning in the sea off the small Brazilian town of Bertioga in 1979.

No member of the Mengele family came forward to claim his remains after they were exhumed in 1985.

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