Children of the Flames

Children of the Flames

Dr. Josef Mengele and the Untold Story the Twins of Auschwitz

Book - 1992
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During World War II, Nazi doctor Josef Mengele subjected some 3,000 twins to medical experiments of unspeakable horror; only 160 survived. In this remarkable narrative, the life of Auschwitz's Angel of Death is told in counterpoint to the lives of the survivors, who until now have kept silent about their heinous death-camp ordeals.
Publisher: New York :, Penguin Books,, 1992.
ISBN: 9780140169317
Branch Call Number: 364.151092 MA
Characteristics: 320 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 18 cm
Additional Contributors: Dekel, Sheila Cohn


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May 20, 2020

First of all the intentions of this book are good. It is not, however, a scholarly book. There are pages of numbered notes at the back with no reference numbers in the text. The sources about Mengele are very poorly documented. Many come from magazine interviews with individuals who helped hide Mengele in South America - self-serving you think??? Much of the "history" of Mengele comes from his own "autobiographical novel". I do not think accurate introspection was ever a feature of the personality of this paranoid, obsessive-compulsive, narcissistic psychopath. ( I know the last is redundant - has there ever been an altruistic psychopath??? ) One author is a journalist and the other is the wife of a survivor.... I repeat intentions are good, execution not so much. If you want to know the history read Mengele: Unmasking the "Angel of Death" by David G. Marwell. There is far too much Mengele mythology and self-creation compared to the stories of the survivors. I have and do read a great deal of WWII and Holocaust history. I did not read "Children of the Flames" as a ghoul, but there is very little detail about the experiences of Auschwitz. This is supposed to be the "untold story". Much of the twin studies and experiments conducted is still untold after this book. Only about 1/3 of the book covers the concentration camp time. There are heartrending stories of the children being torn from their parents, starving and enduring pain, but these twin survivors were different from the other children who lived. Despite one of the few good sources being written by a woman who was forced to be a doctor at Auschwitz, few facts are provided. Finally as to the narratives of the survivors, they are completely believable and demonstrate all the possible outcomes of childhood trauma, depression and PTSD. The personal stories are scattered among Mengele sections such that it is impossible to keep track of the individuals and follow their lives. Very poor organization!!! This is a story that needs to be told better. Kristi & Abby Tabby

deborah2252 Oct 24, 2012

Sad stories of survivors from a part not often told. But the writing is not very compelling and, hard to believe, but also boring.

Mar 31, 2011

Misleading description of the book. Do not expect any real information about what happened in Auschwitz. Probably made that way to appeal to a wider audience, but it loses its horror when you don't actually know what happened.


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