Mengele A psychological Analys

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorUniversity, Bachelor's February 2008

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Mengele Monsters are supposed to be fictitious. They are supposed to be something that only appear in nightmares and fairy tails. Unfortunately, sometimes these monsters take on a very real human face. This was the case with Dr. Josef Mengle, also known as the "Angel of Death." In the essay "What Made This Man? Mengele," by Robert Jay Lifton and in an excerpt from Bruno Bettelheim's essay "The Ignored Lesson of Anne Frank," we get some insight into what made Mengele the monster that he was.

Lifton talks about Mengele in great detail, especially his almost psychotic fascination with research on twins. Mengele is described as a very methodical practitioner of all of his duties. His personality is characterized as "dual." An inmate doctor characterized him as "the double man" who had "all the human feelings, pity and so on," but also had in his "psyche" an "impenetrable, indestructible cell, which is obedience and received order."

This description, of a gentle man, is exemplified by the almost father like way he treated the twins in his captivity. The methodical monster side is best shown by a case of a set of male twins who showed a symptom of tuberculosis. When the inmate doctors reported that they couldn't find the disease, Mengele took the twins in another room, shot them in the neck and proceeded to examine their organs, only to come to the same conclusion. Even though the two boys were amongst his favorite captives, he had no trouble, or afterthought, in killing them. Another trait was Mengele's "schizoid tendencies." He was paranoid about cleanliness. Inmate doctors had to air out hospital wards prior to his inspection and people were sent to their deaths for having blemishes or scars. In short, Mengle was a schizophrenic, with...