Everyone knows Dr. Josef Mengele, the evil Auschwitz doctor who sent countless Jews to the gas chambers, performed cruel, pointless medical experiments on inmates, and gave twin research a bad reputation. But how do we “know” about his many diabolic deeds?
The most important source for what Mengele is said to have done at Auschwitz comes from the Hungarian Jew Miklós Nyiszli, a forensic physician who claims to have been Dr. Mengele’s assistant at Auschwitz. In 1946, he published a book about his traumatic experiences while he was at Auschwitz. Over the years, his book has been translated into all major languages of Europe. It has become one of the mainstays of the orthodox Auschwitz narrative, right next to the testimonies of other key witnesses, such as that of the former Auschwitz commandant Rudolf Höss, or of Elie Wiesel.
As influential as Nyiszli’s book has been in forming the world’s opinion about Auschwitz, Nyiszli’s various writings have never been subjected to thorough critical scrutiny. The present book changes this.
Part 1 of this book contains a faithful translation of the original 1946 edition of Nyiszli’s Hungarian book, while Part 2 makes publicly accessible for the first time essential excerpts of much-less known postwar texts by and about Nyiszli.
Part 3 thoroughly scrutinizes Nyiszli’s writings with what we know to be true about Auschwitz from solid material facts and authentic documentation, while Part 4 compares his various claims with what other inmate doctors have stated who were in a similar position at Auschwitz as Nyiszli claims for himself.
Part 5 takes a critical look into how orthodox historians have dealt with Nyiszli’s texts, while a short essay in the Appendix lays bare the mythical nature of the cliché of Dr. Mengele as the “Angel of Death.”
The author’s conclusion is dispositive:
“Nyiszli was either an extraordinary impostor or a lunatic; there is no escaping from the dilemma. And both horns of this dilemma – shameless mendacity or lunacy – disqualify Nyiszli and completely destroy his credibility.”
Table of Contents
Part 1: Miklós Nyiszli’s Book
I Was Dr. Mengele’s Forensic Pathologist in the Auschwitz Crematorium
Chapters I through XL
Part 2: Other Documents by and about Miklós Nyiszli
2.1. Miklós Nyiszli’s Declaration of July 28, 1945
2.2. Miklós Nyiszli’s “Testimony” at the I.G. Farben Trial
2.3. The Correspondence between Paul Rassinier and Miklós Nyiszli
Part 3: Critical Analysis of Miklós Nyiszli’s Statements
3.1. From Hungary to Camp BIIf at Birkenau
3.2. The Birkenau Crematoria
3.3. Extermination Technology: the “Gas Chambers”
3.4. The “Gassings”
3.5. Extermination Technology: The Pyres
3.6. The Sonderkommando
3.7. Topography and Layout
3.9. The Auschwitz-Birkenau Camp
3.10. Evacuation to Mauthausen
PART 4: Nyiszli’s Testimony in the Context of Trials and Other Testimonies
4.1. Detainees and SS Men Mentioned by Nyiszli
4.2. Dr. Charles Sigismund Bendel, Sonderkommando
4.3. Gassings and Cremations at the Auschwitz Camp
Part 5: Nyiszli’s Statements in the Orthodox Holocaust Narrative
5.1. The Quotation Cherry Pickers
5.2. The Critics
Dr. Mengele’s “Medical Experiments” on Twins in the Birkenau Gypsy Camp
Index of Names