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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Grisly Holocaust Diaries Up for Auction!

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Dan Ephron / Jul 19, 2011 6:04 PM EDT.

Photos Of Nazi War Criminal Mengele

Infamous Nazi doctor Josef Mengele wrote an extensive diary in exile in South America. But, as Dan Ephron reports, its upcoming sale at an auction house raises ethical questions.

At Auschwitz, he was the notorious Nazi doctor who performed grisly experiments on Jews and other inmates. After the war, Josef Mengele found refuge in Argentina and later Paraguay and Brazil. In his exile, he kept a diary.
This week that diary goes on auction in the United States—31 volumes to be precise, including his racist ramblings, pencil drawings, and political commentary. The autobiographical details contained in the writings reveal Mengele in the last years of his life as sick, poor, and constantly fearing exposure.
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The content of the diaries is already familiar to scholars of Nazi history. Brazilian police discovered the journals years after Mengele’s apparent drowning death in 1979 and turned them over to his only son, Rolph. At least one book has been written based on a review of the journals.
But their sale marks one of the largest single off-loadings of Nazi material in years, and it raises certain ethical questions, including who should have access to the papers and whether it’s right for someone to profit from them.
For the uninitiated, it also raises a more prosaic question: who buys this stuff?
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