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Magazine Says Mengele Wrote Letters Defending Concentration Camps

July 4, 1985

MUNICH, West Germany (AP) _ In letters to his son after World War II, Nazi doctor Josef Mengele defended the German concentration camps where more than 6 million people were killed, the weekly magazine Bunte said.

Bunte printed part of a typewritten letter dated 1976 in which Mengele defended the ″elimination of inferior people″ and the ″selections″ by which tens of thousands of people were sent to their deaths at Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland.

The Associated Press on Wednesday received an advance copy of the magazine, which appears on news stands today.

Mengele, known as the ″Angel of Death,″ has been blamed for the deaths of more than 400,000 prisoners at the Auschwitz camp during World War II, and for using prisoners as guinea pigs in barbaric medical experiments.

An international team of forensic experts declared last month that a body unearthed near Sao Paulo, Brazil, was Mengele’s. Investigators were led to the grave by documents police found in West Germany that indicated Mengele died in Brazil in 1979.

″Josef Mengele wrote to his son Rolf letters in which he defended and justified what happened in the concentration camps,″ the magazine said in its third installment about Mengele based on information provided by his son.

Most of those killed in the camps were Jews and Poles.

The magazine printed a copy of a letter the Nazi doctor wrote to his son defending the theory behind his grisly medical experiments supposedly aimed at creating a superrace of humans.

The handwritten letter spoke of the ″burden that the gifted person has,″ compared with the less gifted. Bunte did not specify when the letter was written.

Bunte said Rolf Mengele, 41, a lawyer in Freiburg, West Germany, ″hoped that his father would be able to express some regret for what happened at Auschwitz - but all in vain.″

Mengele provided Bunte with thousands of pictures, diary pages and documents concerning his father’s life in hiding after the war.

The magazine also said a Swiss consulate worker nearly prevented Mengele’s escape to South America.

According to documents provided by Rolf Mengele, his father reached the Italian port of Genoa in 1949. Lacking a passport, Mengele asked a Swiss consulate worker, a woman in her 40s, for special Red Cross travel documents that would secuthe expiration date box,″ and the next day Mengele found ″the document already had been invalid for one day.″

Mengele eventually was issued travel documents to enter Argentina, the magazine said.

It also said Rolf Mengele confirmed reports that Italian authorities arrested his father and held him in jail briefly because he had no residence permit. After being freed, Mengele took a passenger ship for Argentina.

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