COMMENT: With the recent publication by Peter Levenda of a book about Hitler’s apparent escape from Germany at the end of World War II, it is useful to contemplate the huge gap in scholarship and understanding between the mass-mediated “pop” version of Nazism and the real, institutional context of the terrible events of the World War II period and their aftermath.
With the discovery of his purported “grave” in 1985, the file on Josef Mengele–the “Angel of Death” of Auschwitz was officially closed, with several volumes written to seal the official record, including one by Gerald Posner, whose efforts include muddying the investigative waters with regard to the assassinations of President Kennedy, Martin Luther King and Martin Bormann.
Mengele’s infamous career existed in a social and historical context that has more than a little relevance for us today. His presence at the Auschwitz concentration camp and his gruesome experiments on twins stemmed from the eugenics research that inspired the Nazi horrors and that occupied a prominent place in Western social scientific theory.
There is evidence that he may well have continued his work on twins after his flight to Latin America.
In fact, Mengele’s relative security in Latin America stemmed from his professional relationships with the Paraguayan government and military and, through them, with elements of the American national security establishment.
By the same token, the presence and prosperity of figures like Martin Bormann and other, lesser Nazis can only be understood by analyzing the powerful corporate/economic and political forces that gave rise to Nazism and fascism and that have perpetuated it in the postwar period.
It is interesting to note that President Stroessner gives the prosperous careers of 1,500 Jews living in Paraguay as an excuse for not extraditing Mengele. (The Jews, of course, were not wanted for war crimes.) Might some or all of them have been in the employ of the Bormann capital network–“Bormann Jews”?
EXCERPT: . . . . An attitude of benevolence toward Bormann, the German who created so much commercial activity for them, is maintained by Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Uruguyay and Paraguay.
In the last named country, the son of a Bavarian cavalry officer, President Stroessner, cooperates with the United States military authorities and the CIA, as he does with Bormann and his representatives. During the Vietnam war, President Stroessner permitted the U.S. Army Chemical Corps and the CIA to send in teams of 2,500 men to carry out field tests, in the Matto Grosso jungle, of chemicals for use in Vietnam.
In one instance, several American soldiers became casualties when they accidentally were sprayed with the gas. They were taken to a Paraguayan military field hospital; the doctor who treated them was Josef Mengele, now a Paraguayan citizen and an officer in the Paraguayan Army Medical Corps. Under Mengele’s treatment, all soldiers recovered. None, of course, knew the true identity of their medical benefactor.
The Israelis have tried repeatedly to extradite Mengele, who was the notorious doctor of the Auschwitz concentration camp. But when President Stroessner is approached through diplomatic channels for such a purpose, he responds: “Shall I also extradite the 1,500 Jews who have made a good life for themselves and who have contributed so much to our economic growth?”
Despite the assistance Martin Bormann has received from various leaders in Latin America since his arrival, including help from members of U.S. embassies and consulates and several CIA station chiefs, Heinrich Mueller continues to exercise extreme caution in protecting Bormann. . . .