The bones of the Nazi doctor who experimented on Jews in Auschwitz are themselves now being handled, probed and investigated by students and medics in Brazil, where he died.
Josef Mengele, known as the “angel of death” for his torturous experiments at the Nazi death camp, drowned of the coast of Sao Paulo in 1979, but after he was exhumed and identified, his bones lay unclaimed in a plastic bag for 30 years.
Now, a team from the city’s Legal Medical Institute has won permission to use Mengele’s remains to teach students about how to study bones and draw conclusions about the person to whom they belonged.
Dr Daniel Romero Muñoz said Mengele’s bones show a fractured pelvis, from the time he came off his bike at Auschwitz, as well as small holes in his left cheekbone, which were the result of sinusitis.
After the war, Mengele fled to Argentina, but left for Paraguay when he found out that Israeli Mossad agents had captured Holocaust mastermind Adolf Eichmann in Buenos Aires.
From 1960 until his death, he was sheltered by a German couple, whose letters to Germany were intercepted after he died. Spies then told Israelis the real identity of the man who had died swimming off the Brazilian coast six years earlier.