Experts Agree Mengele Is Surely Dead

From Times Wire Services

International forensic experts today positively identified a man who drowned in Brazil six years ago as Josef Mengele, the notorious Nazi “Angel of Death” wanted worldwide for 40 years.

“There is no way this is not him,” said Dr. Lowell Levine, a University of Maryland forensic anthropologist sent to Brazil by the Justice Department.

Seventeen Brazilian, U.S. and West German experts studied the skeleton, photographs, hair and handwriting samples of a man known as Wolfgang Gerhard who drowned in Brazil in 1979.

In Vienna, renowned Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal, asked about the report, said “one has to accept” the findings of international experts.


Levine said they agreed that, “within reasonable scientific certainty,” the man known as Gerhard was really Mengele, wanted for the murders of 400,000 people at the Auschwitz death camp in Poland.

$3.4 Million in Rewards

Mengele’s 41-year-old son Rolf, a lawyer in West Germany, recently confirmed that Gerhard was actually his father--the most wanted man in the world with rewards totaling $3.4 million offered for information leading to his capture.

The medical experts who examined the body met with federal Police Chief Romeu Tuma today in Sao Paulo and told him they had concluded positively that the man was Mengele.


Ellis Kerley, a forensic anthropologist from the University of Maryland, who aided in the investigation, said, “There were so many consistencies,” specifying stature, teeth, age and sex.

Asked if there was a doubt, Kerley said, “It would be possible to have a man of similar age and height but not the dental work and facial features.”

Kerley said the odds of it being someone else were “astronomical.”

‘No Significant Doubt’


Levine said that “there is no significant doubt on any point; the teeth gave a very good match.”

Levine presented a report to Tuma signed by five U.S. forensic experts sent by the Justice Department and by the Simon Wiesenthal Nazi-tracking center based in Los Angeles.

“There was no difference among the team--we are all scientists,” Levine said.

A statement released by the Justice Ministry in Jerusalem said Israel is not convinced that the body is Mengele’s. The statement said the government is awaiting evidence from Brazil so it can conduct its own investigation.


Detailed Report Later

Levine said all the evidence will be presented in a detailed report later but did not say when. The announcement came two weeks after officials exhumed the remains from a grave in a small cemetery in the town of Embu, outside Sao Paulo.

In Vienna, Wiesenthal said that if independent medical experts “came to the same conclusion, one has to accept it.”

“But there are still a lot of questions” about the circumstances of Mengele’s death and how he managed to elude capture for decades, Wiesenthal said.


Wiesenthal said he would like to “examine the Nazi clan in Brazil, which is much larger” than originally believed.