Surviving the Angel of Death: The True Story of a Mengele Twin in Auschwitz

18898968* I received this copy from Net Galley and Tanglewood Press in exchange for my honest review

 

Eva and Miriam Mozes, twins and at 10 years old they are taken to Auschwitz in 1944. Because they’re twins they were separated from their Mother, Father, and Sisters. Instead of being lead to the gas chambers Eva and Mariam are left to Dr. Josef Mengele’s.

I have some knowledge of the Angel of Death: Josef Mengele having read numerous survivor stories so when I seen his name I was mentally pre-paring myself for the horrors to come.

Over all this book is very short and not very detailed. It is a recounting of what happened but it didn’t make me cry like other survivor stories I have read. I understand not wanting to delve into those memories but these books usually use the shock to show what a horrible disgusting thing was allowed to happen and prevent anything like it from happening again and reading about The Angel of Death there is no way I wasn’t shocked by how he treated people and his obsessive expirements but I just didn’t get that passion or feeling that other books on this subject have given me.

I feel pretty bad criticizing a memoir as it’s not the same as a fictional story but all I can say is that compared to others non fiction stories it was lacking an emotional connection.

Eva has done a lot in her life time and is still campaigning against wrongs and ensuring that we never repeat this crime,she is a courageous woman and I thank her for everything she has done and is doing despite the hardships and abuse she has and does face.

“I hope, in some small way, to send a message of hope, a message of healing. Let there be no more wars, no more experiments without informed consent, no more gas chambers, no more bombs, no more hatred, no more killing, no more Auschwitzes.”

TRIGGER WARNING: Please note the below images are graphic and show Eva and Miriam in Auschwitz.

 

 


 


 

I would prefer not to give this book a Star rating as I don’t believe I should be the one to judge how well written or “interesting” a survivor story is.


 

If you’d like to read some information on what a monster Dr. Josef Mengele was and what he has done to affect so many lives in a horrendous way I have included some:

Mengele was a notorious member of the team of doctors responsible for the selection of victims to be killed in the gas chambers and for performing deadly human experiments on prisoners.

He would personally split up families leading one to the gas chambers and the other to the camps. Arrivals deemed able to work were admitted into the camp, and those deemed unfit for labor were immediately killed in the gas chambers.

Twins were subjected to weekly examinations and measurements of their physical attributes by Mengele or one of his assistants.Experiments performed by Mengele on twins included unnecessary amputation of limbs, intentionally infecting one twin with typhus or other diseases, and transfusing the blood of one twin into the other. Many of the victims died while undergoing these procedures. After an experiment was over, the twins were sometimes killed and their bodies dissected.

Mengele personally killed fourteen twins in one night via a chloroform injection to the heart. If one twin died of disease, Mengele killed the other so that comparative post-mortem reports could be prepared and he could study how there organs changed from disease and “natural death”


 

What are you favorite books on WWII? Do you know anyone that has been affected by this?

My partners grandfather was Czech and fled Europe for Australia after fleeing from the Nazis and not enlisting. He was wanting to go to America but the boat to Australia was due a month earlier then the American one so he came to Tasmania and then later to Melbourne. My boyfriends Grandparents on his mother side fled Poland but we never had the chance to know their story. 

think my all time favorites are Once by Morris Gleitzman, Night by Elie Wesiel, The Book Thief by Mark Zusak and The diary of a young girl by Anna Frank,  there are a lot more but I can’t remember them to well as I read them all so long ago.

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8 thoughts on “Surviving the Angel of Death: The True Story of a Mengele Twin in Auschwitz

  1. Thanks for the honest review! I’ve had the same reaction to other memoirs. I think it’s fair to evaluate the craft with which the memoir is written separate from the story it tells, if that makes sense.

    On the subject of WWII–My mother’s family is German Jewish, though all of them were in America before WWII broke out. But that’s always made me interested in WWII and the Holocaust.

    I ended up taking a class on Nazi Germany while I was getting a degree in European history. It was one of the best classes I have ever taken, but that experience of reading about the horrors every single week broke me from researching it for years. Not joking but everyone in my class (professor included) had nightmares every week the entire semester.

    Anyway, when I was reading a lot about this period, I was impressed with Night, Diary of a Young Girl, and The Book Thief. I’ve never read Once. I’ll have to give it a try one day. Thanks for the suggestion!

    I’ve always found Gitta Sereny’s Into That Darkness, about Treblinka commandant Franz Stangl, a terrifying but fascinating read. I’m not much of one for rereading books, but I’ve easily read that one ten times. Sereny interviewed him shortly before he died while he was in prison in Germany. She also interviewed other SS in the camp and survivors. One of the things I always found most difficult about the Holocaust was understanding the mindset that allowed genocide to take place, and Sereny’s book has a lot of insight into this and also just the “banality of evil” that Hannah Arendt observed among a lot of leading Nazis.

    That book also caused me to look for the memoir of one of the survivors she interviewed–Richard Glazer’s Trap with a Green Fence. He just seemed like such an intelligent, sincere person in Sereny’s book, so I was curious to read more of his story, and it was quite good.

    My favorite Holocaust novel is also the most unusual one I’ve ever read–and it’s one I recommend to everyone: Arnost Lustig’s Lovely Green Eyes. He’s a Czech Holocaust survivor. His novel is about a Jewish girl who survives the camps by passing herself off as Gentile and working in one of the brothels. The premise sounds like it would be really salacious, but it’s not. It’s actually a really thoughtful, haunting book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thankyou for this amazing comment!
      Once is a middle grade read but I love it anyhow, hope you do to!
      Thankyou for the recommendations I haven’t read any of these and will add them to my tbr pile.
      WWII has always interested me, me and my partner are planning on tracing his family tree back and finding some more information about there experience. My mum reads a lot of non-fiction and WWII books so I always go to her and borrow what ever she hands to me, I’ll have to check if she’s read any of the ones you mentioned 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Just looked this up, I don’t read graphic novels I don’t know why I’ve just never picked them up before I may see if the library has this next time I’m there and have flip through.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t read a lot of graphic novels–I always dismissed them as childish, but Spiegelman’s book made me reconsider my position. I still don’t seek them out, but I have read a couple of others I enjoyed. His stands out to me the most, though!

        We’ll have to compare notes if you read any of the ones I suggested! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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