99% Sure Body Is Mengele’s, W. German Official Says
A West German consular official Wednesday said his country’s police and forensic experts are convinced the body unearthed near here two weeks ago was that of Nazi death camp doctor Josef Mengele.
“Our experts are 99% sure that the body dug up at Embu is Josef Mengele,” the official from the consulate said in a telephone interview. He requested that his name not be used.
Brazilian, West German and American experts have been working to positively identify a body exhumed June 6 from a grave in the small town of Embu, near Sao Paulo.
“All the evidence and all the tests obtained so far indicates it is the real Mengele,” said the consular official, who said he was not authorized to release the evidence.
He said the West German experts, three of whom are in Sao Paulo accompanying the investigations, had “two dozen indicators and all of them were positive--the pattern of the story, the testimony, what was found in the grave.”
Brazilian police have said they are “90% sure” the remains belonged to Mengele, who is blamed for conducting sadistic medical experiments and sending more than 400,000 people to their deaths at the Auschwitz extermination camp during World War II.
West German authorities have previously said they were awaiting further evidence before declaring their opinion on the body’s identity.
In Brasilia, the Brazilian capital, West German Embassy spokesman Gunter Schutze said the official West German position is that his government cannot comment until the final results are announced by the Brazilians.
The medical specialists Wednesday examined a pelvic abnormality in the exhumed skeletal remains and compared X-rays of the skull with supposed photographs of the Nazi death camp doctor.
In West Germany, a magazine editor working with Mengele’s family said they can offer no proof that the fugitive is dead.
Mengele’s son Rolf broke years of silence last week and asserted that his father died in a 1979 swimming accident near Sao Paulo.
The younger Mengele “says himself that ‘I never saw the body,’ ” Norbert Sakowski, deputy editor of Bunte magazine, said. The son “believes (his father) is dead but cannot prove it,” said the editor. “I believe it, too.”
Bunte magazine is publishing articles on what is purported to have been Mengele’s life on the run, based on photographs and other documents provided by the family.
The recent discovery of the grave by Brazilian police came after they received a tip from West German authorities and subsequently questioned an elderly Austrian immigrant couple here, who said they had sheltered Mengele and that he drowned at a beach near Sao Paulo in February, 1979. They led police to the gravesite.
The forensic experts Wednesday analyzed the pelvic bone of the exhumed remains to determine the origin of a bump or protrusion near the leg socket, said Romeu Tuma, the Sao Paulo federal police chief.
Examinations last week showed what was thought to be pelvic fracture; Mengele reportedly had once suffered a fractured hip.
The doctors also conducted further analysis of the skull. Medical team member Dr. Daniel Munoz had said Tuesday that skull X-rays would be superimposed on pictures believed to be of Mengele in order to compare cranial structure.