Behind the Bastards

There’s a reason the History Channel has produced hundreds of documentaries about Hitler but only a few about Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bad guys (and gals) are eternally fascinating. Behind the Bastards dives in past the Cliffs Notes of the worst humans in history and exposes the bizarre realities of their lives. Listeners will learn about the young adult novels that helped Hitler form his monstrous ideology, the founder of Blackwater’s insane quest to build his own Air Force, the bizarre lives of the sons and daughters of dictators and Saddam Hussein’s side career as a trashy romance novelist.

Part Three: Josef Mengele & The Nazi Doctors

Part Three: Josef Mengele & The Nazi Doctors

Tue, 18 Apr 2023 10:00

Matt and Robert finally get to the worst part of the Mengele story: his time at Auschwitz, and his nightmarish medical experiments.

See for privacy information.

Listen to Episode

Copyright © 2023 iHeartPodcasts

Read Episode Transcript

What spring break or summer without a day at the theme park? Via hero and skip the ticket counter and save money. With undercover tourist you can buy your tickets in advance and save up to 25% on theme park and attraction tickets. Nationwide! Visit slash podcast for all theme park and attraction tickets. All tickets come with the best price guarantee and a 365 day refund policy. That's slash podcast. Undercovertourist. The trusted name in theme park tickets. Buying a home can be an anxiety inducing endeavor. But does it have to be? With the SoFi mortgage loan you can save now with special home buying pricing and down payment options as little as 3 to 5%. Then be eligible to save later when rates drop in you refinance. Thanks to SoFi you don't need anxiety to be on your mind when home shopping. Just saving. Visit slash new home to learn more. Mortgage us through SoFi bank and a member FDIC, animal S696891, loan and offer terms, conditions, restrictions apply, equal housing, lunder. Never miss out on streaming content for your favorite teams. Turn your vehicle into a powerful reliable Wi-Fi hotspot with AT&T in car Wi-Fi. You can create your own tailgate wherever you are at the beach, family, picnic and more. Use your AT&T in car Wi-Fi up to 50 feet away from your vehicle. Connect up to 10 devices on the network that covers more roads than any other carrier. Go to AT& slash in car Wi-Fi to see if you're eligible for a free trial today. Based on nationwide GWS test drive data, GWS conducts paid drive tests for AT&T and uses the data in its analysis. Number of devices varies by manufacturer. Always pay careful attention to the road and no drive distracted. Wi-Fi hotspot intended for passenger use only when vehicles and operation. Compatible device and vehicle required. What's... Oh boy, yeah, you know what? That might have been over the line. Right, that might have been over the line. Robert. Yeah. Oh my god. Woof. I feel like there's some government agency we need to report me to for saying that now. I didn't know. Yeah, man. Robert, go to hell. I'm leaving. That was a step too far, huh? Well, we'll bleep it out. We'll bleep it out. I've heard you use that language ever. Well, I fucking years was wrong with you. We'll edit that all out and you at home can imagine what horrible thing I said. What can be... It's just a level thing I said that'll get leaked seven years from now. Please replace it with, you know, these embarrassing. Yeah. Well, this is fine, baby. God, your mask, Matt, we've got a fresh haircut. It's going to be a good day. It's going to be a good day talking about Joseph Mangola. Oh, well, no. J.K. We're going to ruin the vibe as usual, Robert. I'm sorry. Welcome back to the line again. We're talking about something that's going to make everyone sad. And I like to think that is, you know, a guest of this podcast I'm here to, you know, try to lighten the mood. Excellent. Along with Jar Jar, I brought this. Excuse me. I don't want to talk about me. I don't want to talk about happy things. Just happy things. All right. Wow. I'm going to bow it out every time. Wow. It's so little dicky. Wow. Wow. Yeah. That's, it's like little dicky did like a Tommy style concept album, but about Joseph Mangola. Yeah. Oh, I love it. Oh, fuck me. We're so twins together. Oh, dear God. I'm sorry. Wow. Oh, boy. Oh, you're about to be in. And so small percentage of your listeners who don't, like, grievously offended. Yeah. Yes. And that was for them. Yeah, I got a new, I got a new kind of offence recently where somebody was like it's messed up that your show was called Behind the Bastards and you call the bad people bastards because that that's hurtful to people who were born out of wood lock. And like, yes, people used that word that more. or any, like, that's just not a thing that we do. When I hear someone say bastards, I don't think, I yes, this is someone referring to a person born outside the bounds of holy matrimony. Right, this is, you know, I feel like language evolves as a thing. Yeah, Robert, I raise your people being offended over the word bastards to the Coco Chanel apologists and my DMs. Like, oh yeah. Boy, howdy, if you did that. I saw it. I saw it. I hope by now the liver king episodes will be dropping. So I hope you've got liver king apologists in there too, being like, look, man, a lot of people take $15,000 in steroids every single month. Yeah, no, what's wrong with that? Yeah, I was wondering from you, definitely gentleman. Mm hmm. Ha ha ha ha. 100% dudes. Speaking of a dude, Joseph Mangola, um, definitely was a dude. And his wife Irene had been married just over a month when Germany invaded Poland after carrying out a false flag attack to justify said aggression. World War II, you know, starts and Joseph is over the moon about it. He believes the war is the quote last desperate fight of the German nation by which he meant that without a cleansing genocidal war to clear out large swaths of farm land, Germans would be doomed to interbreeding and genetic collapse. Goddamn it. Yeah, he's just starting off. He buys and do it, you know? He's he's all full-throated. Now, because he's got some health issues, it's not until 1941 and the start of operation, Barbarossa, that Mangola actually sees combat in Ukraine. His posting is the infamous SS Viking division, which is spelled Viking. And I'm going to call it Viking because that makes them sound silly and they are terrible war criminals. So let's the Vikings were where we, where we, where we scale, where we scale, we, where we, where we, where we like him. So the Viking division is made up of Germanic peoples mostly from outside of Germany. There is like a German battalion or whatever in there, but a lot of them are from Belgium, Norway, a lot of them are Norwegian, Denth people from Denmark, from France, from Holland. They're basically like Aryans from all the places the Germans have conquered. And the actions of the Viking division are, um, you would call them controversial to this day. The unit fought exclusively in the east during the worst atrocities of the Second World War and they participated in several of those atrocities. But because the membership is largely foreign, there has been a lot of effort dedicated to minimizing the culpability of the volunteers. A good example would be this ABC Australia article about a Finnish government report that concluded the 14 or so Finnish volunteers in the unit, likely committed war crimes. The report notes accurately that the Fens agreed to supply soldiers for the elite division after their brutal war with the USSR, which is true enough. But check out how they word this. Reluctantly, Fens complied and covertly recruited the first group of 400 SS volunteers to be sent for training. The vast majority of them had no ideological sympathies with the Nazi regime. The report said Fens were above all interested in fighting against the Soviet Union due to their brutal experiences in the winter war. In this way, the starting point for Fens involvement was different compared to most other countries joining SS 4 and volunteer units. Uh, yeah. Mm-hmm. Yeah. No, they didn't have a choice. You know, just wound up in that SS unit on accident. Just, you know how you're stumbling home from the bar, you had a couple rounds, and then you wound up in the SS. It happens to all of us. You find a friend where you got a mutual hatred of this other dude, and he happens to also hate every Jew who's ever lived, and you're like, well, you know, you take the good, you with the bad. Yeah. And it's one of those, like, there's a movie coming out right now that's about like some Finnish guy murdering Nazis, and there's a concern some people have is like, are they just going to kind of whitewash the fact that an awful lot of Fens were completely on board with the Nazis? Yes, they will. No, and obviously you can note that like, yeah, the Fens had just suffered this devastating invasion from the USSR that they had no fault in, and that that would make things complicated. They're in a difficult geopolitical situation, but you don't need to whitewash these SS guys, especially when you read passages like this from David Marwell's book. Early in the morning of July 2nd, SS to Dartenführer Wackerel, the beloved commander of the division's Westland regimen, was shot and killed by a sniper near the village of Slouitka. In the days that followed Wackerel's death, members of the Wiking Division carried out acts of extreme violence, claiming an estimated several thousand Jews as victims. Struv presents evidence from the records of various German army units in the area, quoting, for example, the diary of a lieutenant Ksberg with the 295th engineer's battalion. Firing everywhere, it crackles. The SS bumps off anyone they get their hands on. It is horrific. The chief of staff of the fourth army corps observed that individual members of the Wiking Division were seen hunting for Jews. The war diary of a unit in the area noted that the SS was indiscriminately shooting Russian soldiers and civilians in large numbers. A member of the supply unit of the division Hans Gunther Otto in a sworn affidavit after the war claimed that his unit had been informed that Wackerel had been killed by a Jew and that their participation in the Revinj actions marked the beginning of the unit's participation in the extermination of the Jews. Otto described an order that was read to his unit after Wackerel's death. The order said that we were no longer held accountable for the killing of any Jews we could get hold of and that we could indeed shoot any Jew we saw. So this is who Mangleess serves with when he does his combat tours. Great. Good influences. Yeah, yeah, it seems like that's going to moderate his natural shitting. That's a lot. Now we unfortunately know very little about the specific details of what Mangle had did with the Wiking Division. He's there for close to two years, but he is present with them through one of the most bloody periods in the history of human warfare. Given his professional expertise at identifying Jewish ancestry and the fact that his division is hunting Jews, there's a pretty good chance he was consulted on who to kill, right? On Jimmy massacre, this village or not, right? You know, that's a pretty good chance. He was involved. They would just like wheel Mangle out to look at every villager and just be like, uh, point out which ones you think are the most Jewish. Yeah. And be like, oh, is that's my favorite thing to do? Yes. That's what they do. So the first massacre by the Wiking Division was carried out at a town, at a prison in a town called Zolussiv, where the retreating Soviet army had massacred about 650 prisoners on their way out. When the SS discovered the bodies, they and their Ukrainian allies slaughtered more than a thousand Jews in the area. One survivor later recalled, the SS people stood around the pit and from time to time they ordered someone, especially men with beards and sidewalks to come out and kneel in front of them. With sadistic pleasure, they hit their victim until he lay unconscious on the ground and they kicked them back into the pit. Sometimes family members tried to help the poor people, but then they often made their fate even worse. Some were taken out of the grave and beaten to death with unimaginable brutality. Yeah. Joey Mangs, everybody. This is his baptism of fire. This is kind of known as the scene by historians who study him as like, this is what takes us from the Joseph Mangala, who's like doing science that's kind of racist, but is relatively mid for its day to the Joseph Mangala, who is capable of doing the things he's going to do at Auschwitz. There's a process of brutalization. You can't get a more brutalizing environment than being part of this SS division. Yeah, part of the Nazi or the the Jew hunting battalion. One of the in the entire Nazi army, one of the worst units in terms of war crimes. Yeah. I mean, I don't like them. No, I don't they don't sound nice to me. I'm not a fan. No, in a single week, the SS Viking division was responsible for between four and 7,000 murders of Jewish Ukrainians. They're often just kind of killing every person they can in a city or a town that they wind up billeted in. It's possible that Mangala participated directly and at least some of the killing we simply don't know. Our records of his performance only detail his combat actions. And he performed well against partisans, winning an iron cross, second class, and then first class for pulling comrades out of a burning tank. Mangala provided field medicine through a number of heavy combat actions. In the first five months in the field, his division lost 20% of its manpower, which is heavy. That's an intense rate of casualties. Good. I hope they made him sad. Yeah, I hope they all suffered real tensile. Yeah. Now, Mangala was praised by his superior officers, even as the tide of war turned gradually against the Nazi forces. At the end of November 1942, he was nearly killed in an aerial attack. A comrade described in his unit log, vigorous air activity again. Dr. Mangala buried, bomb explodes next to Foxhole and buried him. They got him out, alas. So another thing that is cool in this time period is the Russians counter-attack at Stalingrad and the Romanian army kind of collapses and then they surround the German Sixth Army. And massacre it. Joseph Mangala is in and around that action and he actually gets evacuated by air during one of the last moments in which that would have been possible. No one's really sure why he gets evacuated. He doesn't seem to have been injured, which would have been a normal reason to like pull an officer out from the front. There's a pretty good chance. It's just because he's a doctor. He's seen as having high value as a racial hygienist. The war in the east is failing, but the Nazi regime's race war, they felt was still winnable. And they needed Mangala on another battle front, a place called Auschwitz. Oh, God. So we're going to Auschwitz. It's only episode three. Only episode three. Yeah, it's mostly going to be Auschwitz today. This is going to be, this week is all Auschwitz. Oops, all Auschwitz. Oops. All Auschwitz. Oh boy. This isn't going to be fun. It is not. So he gets, he gets, listen, I don't know what to say to him. I just fucking, I just, I know. Never throwing SSRIs in my mouth. This is the only way to talk about Joey Mengs, is with, with a lot of reverb. So he gets evacuated. He's, he's in Berlin for a little while before he gets his next assignment. And he gets in touch with his old boss, Ottmar von Verschauer. And Ottmar is now running the Kaiserville Helm Institute for Anthropology. So he makes Mangala a guest scholar there, you know, on his, as he's recovering from being at the war front. And Mangala continues to aid Verschauer in his work on an ad hoc basis. von Verschauer had taken over for the previous Nazi and charge, Eugene Fisher, as part of an agreement between the two men that race science had now advanced to an exciting new era, one in which the study of heredity could now look at traits, like criminality or heroism or work-shinness or industriousness, and determine with scientific precision to what extent those traits were caused by heredity or by environment. The missing piece of the puzzle was that heredity science, as they saw it, still could not explain how a genetic disposition became a physical trait. In his book on Mangala, Marwell quotes history and Hans Walter Schmoule. The idea, generally accepted up to that time, that every attribute was simply transmitted as dominant or recessive, monofactorial genetic information, did not hold up to the results of mutation research, population genetics, or developmental physiology. Thus Mendelian genetics was giving way, in the words of the day, to higher Mendelism, which presumed much more complicated mechanisms of heredity. Now, part of why the Nazis are confused is that a lot of the things they saw as traits simply are not behaviors or traits that have a genetic component, or just aren't traits at all. You have to consider the Nazis considered criminality a trait, and their definition of a criminal was kind of broad. Right. Yeah. It was a weirdly sounded a lot like they were just trying to describe Jews in any aspect and just trying to use science to justify it. Yeah. So you can see how they would be confused that all of their calculations aren't adding up here. And also what's a crime, because they would also, like anything gay was a crime, and they're sure. Oh, for sure. Exactly. Anything genderqueer was a crime. So criminality quite broad as well. Broad term for the Nazis. Now, there were, and they were asking, because these guys are scientists, and some of what they're asking are, we're legitimate at the time, scientific questions about heredity. They were not just trying to do stuff that was nonsense, race science. They were trying to answer real questions that scientists all over the world were kind of grappling with. The pseudo science here, though, is pretty complex, and not worth kind of delving into in much more detail. So we will continue to focus more on the personalities. Versure and Fisher, both highly regarded race scientists, were obsessed with unraveling the mystery of heredity. So they made an agreement, and Versure gets made the head of the institute, because he's really good at getting funding and support from the Nazi state. I'm going to quote again now from Marwell's book, although he himself here is largely quoting the work of a historian named Sheila Faith Weiss. In pursuit of this new paradigm, argues Weiss, a combination of experimental research on animals and humans was necessary. She writes that, Dalai Institute scientists could provide the necessary human clinical supplement to the ongoing experimental work in the developmental genetics of normal and pathological traits in animals. Mangle is four-month association with the institute, and the winter and spring of 1943 laid the foundation for a crucial link between the scientists at the institute and a colleague who could be instrumental in supplying all manner of human specimens and data to advance their work. So they hit this point where they're like, in order to do more heredity research, the only way to properly do this is to study a bunch of humans. And that kind of study is going to involve dissection. It's going to involve autopsies. It's going to involve finding people who have rare different kind of genetic disabilities and studying their bodies after they die. If you were to do that legitimately, you know, using only bodies that people had willingly donated after their deaths, well, you're not going to actually be able to do that science at the rate at which these Nazis want to do it. They're going to need a supply of human material. And that is where Joseph Mangle is going to be useful to them. So God, it's so fucking depressing, bro. Yeah, this is, I mean, these are the Mangle episodes. Yeah, they show it. This is people going to die. Oh, I'm sorry, we can cut that one. No, about this one instead. It's a busting. It's jargona saying, It's a busting. That's always nice. It's nice to remember the finer parts of life as we get. We delve into this darkness. So Joey Manks gets assigned to work at Auschwitz in the May of 1943. And we don't exactly know why because they get rid of a lot of their documentation around Auschwitz shortly after this period. It is likely, and Mangle's son would later say that von Verschauer basically pulled strings to get him appointed at Auschwitz. It is worth noting, doctors were never forced to work at death camps. Not one of the SS doctors who worked at any of the death camps was there on pain that they would be punished. You didn't even suffer career consequences for refusing to work at a death camp. It was entirely over show if you did this work. Normal empathy was like, Oh, no, I'd rather not. Yeah, I get it, bro. It's stuck out there. It's fucked up. It's fucked up, bro. I told me neither. It is often inherently stated that Mangle was the chief medical officer at Auschwitz, but this is inaccurate. His direct supervisor was the chief medical director at the camp, and Mangle is more accurately viewed as basically the number two man in terms of like the medical system at Auschwitz. Gerald Posner credits this errant reputation to the fact that Joseph was a workaholic, as well as one of the few SS men there who had seen combat in the east. Mangle have frequently referred to his combat experience, and he quickly developed a special aura in the camp because of his frontline fighting, which contrasted sharply with the desk careers of the other doctors. Mangle coupled his combat status with a workaholic devotion to his duties. While other Auschwitz doctors didn't know more than was required of them, Mangle was always undertaking new projects and extra responsibility. And one example of an extra responsibility he took on was eradicating a typhoid epidemic that occurred at one of the barracks soon after his arrival. Now, for reference, Auschwitz was made up of several labor camps, each with a different set of barracks generally divided between men and women, but also between inmates from different regions. As a general rule, families were split up on arrival by sex and availability to work. But sometimes too many people came in at once. Auschwitz, I think the most people it ever killed in a day was 9,000, and there were days where more than that arrived. Yeah, I mean, it was a factory for producing death. So sometimes when they had too many people arrive, communities would be kept intact until they could be exterminated. And when you stick large numbers of people in tiny, poorly made barracks with no insulation in the middle of a European winter, and you feed them maybe 700 calories a day, and you deprive them of clean water, illness is going to spread. And sure enough, typhoid epidemics were rampant. At the time, with the technology available, it was basically impossible to stop typhus from spreading once it had become endemic and something like a crowded barracks. This had been an intractable problem for the camp administration, prior to Mangle is arrival. And the SS saw this as a serious issue, not because they cared about the comfort and safety of prisoners, but because typhoid just spreads, the SS can get typhoid from the prisoners at the barracks, right? So you have to do... Typhoid can't even tell who's Jewish or not. Yeah, it's really messed up. It's like for all the same species. I don't understand it. We're going to have to do more science. Unfortunately, yeah. So something has to be done, and Joseph Mangle is going to be the guy to do it. And I'm going to quote now from a memoir by a Jewish doctor, educated in Germany, named Mika Loz, named Mika Loz, Nisly. Mika Loz is in turn to Auschwitz with his family, and forced to work as a medical officer there by Dr. Mangle. And here are his recollections of how Joseph fought the typhoid outbreak. The quarantine camp, C camp, decamp, and the F section were terribly overcrowded, despite the quotas which were filled daily for shipment to more distant camps. In the Czech camp, both the children and the age had been greatly weakened by their two-year ordeal. The children's bodies were mere skin and bones, and the elderly prisoners were so weak they could scarcely walk. Both had to relinquish their places to new arrivals, who were still strong enough to work. During the preceding weeks, their situation had steadily worsened. When the first Hungarian convoy began arriving, their rations had been sharply reduced. Then a few weeks later, when the stream of new deportate teas had swelled the flood proportions, the camp authorities had found themselves faced with a serious shortage of food. As usual, their remedy had been both drastic and efficient. They had practically suppressed the Czech camp's rations altogether. Hunger had reduced the prisoners to raving, moaning maniacs. Within a few days, their already weakened organisms had disintegrated entirely. Diarrhea, dysentery and typhus had begun their deadly work. 50 or 60 deaths a day was normal. Their last days were spent in indescribable suffering, till it last a death came and set them free. The closing of all barracks was ordered early in the morning. Several hundred SS soldiers surrounded the Czech area and ordered the inmates to assemble. Their cries of terror as they were loaded into the waiting vans were terrible to hear. For after two years in the KZ, they no longer had any illusions about what lay in store for them. Liquidation Day found some 12,000 prisoners left in the Czech camp. From among that number, 1,500 able-bodied men and women were chosen, along with eight physicians. The rest were sent to number two and number three crematoriums. On the following day, the Czech camp was silent and deserted. I saw a truck loaded with ashes, leave the crematorium and head towards the Vistula. It's a river. Thus, the Auschwitz muster rolls were reduced by more than 12,000 units, and one more bloody page was added to the Auschwitz archives. That page contained only the following brief inscription. The Czech section of the Auschwitz concentration camp was liquidated this state due to a prevalence of typhus among the prisoners. Signed Dr. Mengele, helps to prefer. This is exactly like forcing people to get vexed. It's the same thing, same thing, bro. It does. I was a punching anti-vaxxer in the face. Every time I listen to this podcast about different Nazi atrocities or read about it, I'm always just like, if I ever see an anti-vaxxer walk into a bask in robins with a fucking star of David that says, Oh my God. Because they're like, I don't need a vaccine. I just want all 32 flavors. I don't punch them in the fucking mouth. I think it is justified to do violence to people who compare like- I think so. It's not even being forced by the state to get a vaccine. You're being told, like, yeah, man, if you want to work in a high school cafeteria, you have to get a COVID vaccine. Is this a Nazi Germany? No, it's super isn't. It's totally not. It's one of those things. Everybody knows Auschwitz, horrible. We're not blowing any minds with the fact that this was a bad place. But when you actually dig into, like, I recommend if you want to get an actual degree of personal physical context for what it was like there. Miklo Sneasley's memoir, Auschwitz Addoctor's eyewitness account is short. You can finish it in an afternoon. It's not a long book and it's fucking harrowing. Like just absolutely some of the some of the worst things that you can possibly hear. That was just one passage you read. Yeah, I already need a nap. That's not one of the bad ones. Like it's bad, but like in terms of the degree of personal brutality involved, that's not one of the most. That's not the worst thing we're going to talk about today. Yeah, you're going to need a lot of jar jar, buddy. Well, that smells stink of it. Absolutely. Jesus. So it's important to note, we just talked about the fact that like the doctors at Auschwitz were not at all forced to be there. Auschwitz and the death camp system in general could not function without doctors. They were the key linchpin that held the entire thing together. The kind of thugs who were doing the mass shootings of people and carrying the guns and manning the guard towers, those were much less important to the system of killing than medical doctors. In January of 1942, a group of Nazi functionaries under friend of the pod Reinhard Hyderick sat down in a suburb of Verlen called Vonse to plan out technical details of the Holocaust. Prior to this moment, the genocidal violence of the Nazis had been a mix of deportations, mass shootings, restrictive laws, and random beatings and murders. After Vonse, the death camps sprung up to full production with a goal of cleansing Europe from undesirable races. As we've discussed throughout these episodes, this was seen as a medical task. Doctors like von Vershoer were key advocates throughout the escalating process of preparing the German state to carry out genocide. And I'm going to quote from the book Racial Hygiene here. At Marvon Vershoer described in his textbook the need for a complete solution of the Jewish question. On March 27th to 28th 1941, at opening ceremonies for the Institute for Research of the Jewish Question, in Frankfurt, Eugene Fisher and Hans F. K. Gunther were guests of honor at a meeting where possible solutions to the Jewish question were discussed. At this meeting, Walter Gross reviewed the shortcomings of previous efforts in this regard, emancipation, persecution, partial annihilation, and so forth, and claimed that a final solution could only come from the complete removal of Jews from Europe. So that's Mengele's job. That's why these doctors are there, right? They are seeing through the future health of the race by exterminating people, and that's very much how they see their role. Mengele's first job and the first job of all SS doctors at Auschwitz was to sort new arrivals to the camp. The trains would arrive packed full of starving, desperate people often jammed in with the corpses of their loved ones who had starved or died of illness after days stuck in a dank airless train car without access to sanitation. They would be marched out and sorted by a man like Mengele. We're going to talk more about that, but what? There we go. That's got everybody in a good mood, ready for capitalism. Somehow that was in a minor key. I don't even know. It's on auto tune, and even the auto tune is depressed. Little miracles. Hey, Mariel Lopez here, and let's be real. We all know that SUVs are what's in right now. If you go with the Toyota, you got a ton of options to choose from like a RAV4, the perfect versatile SUV for riding around in style. It comes at a bunch of cool colors and is super fuel efficient. It'll make you the talk of the town. Or, if you want a little luxury and comfort, there's the venza with features like a panoramic sunroof, heated and ventilated front seats. You'll feel like you're riding on a cloud, and it's available in hybrid and all-wheel drive. Awesome. Anything in a little more space, you got the Highlander, which can fit up to eight people. So it's perfect for family road trips. It also has all types of available features for both passengers and the driver. It's a great ride. So there you have it folks. Toyota SUVs are the way to go. They are one of the most reliable brands around. You really can't go wrong. So stop by our local Toyota dealer or check out more at and let's go places. For example, I recently learned that reading about terrible people all the time can sometimes make you sad. And when you're sad, it helps to talk to people. If you think you might need to talk to someone, therapy is a great way to do that. It's all about deepening your self-awareness and understanding. Because sometimes you don't know what you want or why you react the way you do until you talk through things with an objective observer. Better help connects you with a licensed therapist who can take you on that journey of self-discovery from wherever you are. So if you're thinking about starting therapy, better help might be a good option for you. It's entirely online. It's designed to be convenient, flexible, and suited to your schedule. Just fill out a brief questionnaire to get matched with a licensed therapist. Discover your potential with better help. Visit slash behind today to get 10% off your first month. That's better help slash behind. Oh, we're back. Oh, I'm back. I just took 3000 prozac. And I am ready to rock. There we go. There we go. So speaking of prozac, mingla and the other doctors that are there, yeah, their job is, you know, selecting these people. And I can describe this experience of selection in broad terms, but nothing does a better job of illustrating it than the words of a man who went through it. Mikloss Nisly arrived at Auschwitz in May of 1944, less than a year into Dr. Mangle's time there. And he met the man himself immediately on arrival. We jumped to the ground then turned over to take our wives and children in our arms and helped them down. For the level of the cars was over four and a half feet from the ground. The guards had us line up along the tracks before us to the young SS officer and peccable in his uniform, a gold rosette gracing his lapel, his boots smartly polished, though unfamiliar with the various SS ranks. I surmised from his arm band that he was a doctor later. I learned that he was the head of the SS group that his name was doctor Mangle and that he was the chief physician of the Auschwitz concentration camp. As the medical selector for the camp, he was present at the arrival of every train. Now, obviously, you know, Mangle's has imperfect recall like all light witnesses. Mangle was not the chief physician and he was not present for the arrival of every single train. This was a duty that doctors switched off on taking and there's not documented evidence that Mangle did more than his share of shifts, which still means that he personally sent potentially several hundred thousand people to their annihilation. We just don't know if he worked overtime. Yeah, it doesn't seem like there's evidence that he did. We'll talk a little bit more about why Miklos has some of these kind of beliefs about what Mangle did at the camp that don't line up with the documentation because he's not the only one. This is not like a personal flaw for one thing. Talk to people who have been present at like a mass shooting and you'll get different accounts of what happens and when I win this is often because it's a stressful terrifying situation and Auschwitz is the most stressful and terrifying situation of all of the stressful terrifying situations. So yeah, your memory is going to have a couple of errors. It doesn't mean anything about the overall trustworthiness of his account. It's just that you get little details like that wrong. It is worth noting that the evidence suggests Mangle was unusually well suited to the mental task of selection. Dr. Ella Lingens, who was also in turn to Auschwitz later noted that Joseph handled the duty with less stress than his colleagues. Quote, some like Werner Rode who hated his work and Hans Kenegg, who was deeply disgusted by the job, had to get drunk before they appeared on the ramp. Only two doctors performed the selections without any stimulants of any kind. Dr. Joseph Mangle and Dr. Fritz Klein. Dr. Mangle was particularly cold and cynical. And Klein, who definitely deserves to be remembered in the same breath as a piece of shit like Mangle had hated Jewish people with a passion ever since a Jewish guy stole his fiance when they were undergrads. That was way really. Yeah, that's his real. That's real. That's my assumption for most Nazis. No, that is absolutely what happened. Some tall handsome Jews such as myself, you know, like, you know, maybe they did their ex-girlfriend who broke their heart. Now it's like, we must give him on. That is perfect faces and a nice penis. That is definitely that is definitely the case for Dr. Fritz in cell Klein. Klein was known to brag that he liked the smell of the crematoria. Lingen's talked to Mangle about his own opinions on the subject and she claimed she's one of these doctors who's forced to work at the camp because she's a prisoner. There are a lot of these folks. Lingen's talked to Mangle about his own opinions on the subject and she claimed, quote, he once told me that there are only two gifted people in the world, Germans and Jews. And it's a question of who will be superior. So he decided that they had to be destroyed. Yeah, see, this is like underneath all of the now granted my entire like or at least most of my personal dealings with anti-semitism has been like chuds online. But it does seem very like, I don't know, like rooted in, I don't want to say they're jealous that they're fucking jealous of us. But it does seem like a lot of it is just like, it's so smart and so so funny and all the girls like them and I mean, and me, I'm just so nice to so all the girls are too nice. I need to be mean. And then they, you know, they read Jordan Peterson, they start cleaning their room, they start doing racial hygiene and then bobs your own. Yeah, that's the that's the way it it it goes. Yeah. God almighty. So it's one thing to kind of give an overview of how the selection process worked, which is harrowing enough. But I think I'd be doing it a service if I didn't give you an account of meeting Joseph Mangle as a prisoner approaching selection. This one comes from our buddy, Mikloss, who does survive the camp. We'll talk a little bit about how later because by God, it's a story. Quote, to start the SS quickly divided us according to sex, leaving all children under 14 with their mothers. So our once united group was straight away split into a feeling of dread overwhelmed us. But the guards replied to our anxious questions in a paternal, almost good-natured manner. It was nothing to be concerned about. They were being taken off for a bath and to be disinfected as was the custom. Afterwards, we would all be reunited with our families. While they sorted us out for transportation, I had a chance to look around. In the light of the dying sun, the image glimpsed earlier through the crack and the box car seemed to have changed, grown more eerie and menacing. One object immediately caught my eye, an immense square chimney built of red bricks tapering towards the summit. It towered above a two-story building and looked like a strange factory chimney. I was especially struck by the enormous tongues of flame rising between the lightning rods, which were set at angles over the square tops of the chimney. I tried to imagine what hellish cooking would require such tremendous fire. Suddenly, I realized that we were in Germany, the land of the Crematory ovens. I had spent 10 years in this country, first as a student later as a doctor, and I knew that even the smallest city had its Crematorium. Yeah. Before you were like, I feel like it would be a disservice to do the police feel free to disserve me. Yeah. I don't need to hear at all. Sorry. It's like, yeah, I think one of the stories that's kind of worth telling about Mingola in this period is the fact that there's one point where a doctor gets sent to the camp and he kind of realizes what is happening. I'm not willing to do this. I don't want to go through this shit. This is not what doctors do. I feel like it's immoral for me to be here. And so he says that he's going to leave and tries to get his way out of Auschwitz. This guy, oh, yeah, so I found it here. So yeah, this SS physician named Horse Fisher is like, yeah, he goes through one of these selections and he's just so horrified of it that he's tries to transfer out of it. And yeah, Fisher asks himself kind of over the next couple of weeks, like why they're doing this, why these starving people, the poorest of the poor, who couldn't possibly have like influenced the economy or politics or harmed Germany in any way, why these people had to be exterminated. And as he's like trying to leave the camp, he asks Mingola these questions that he's been asking himself and Mingola responds, it was precisely from this reservoir of people that the Jews drew new power and refreshed their blood without the poor, but supposedly harmless Eastern Jews, the civilized Western European Jews would not be capable of survival. Therefore, it was necessary to kill all Jews. And one of the things that Mingola does is he takes this questioning doctor and he starts doing like selections with him in order to like talk him up throughout the process until eventually the guy is willing to continue the job as an SS physician. So he's not just him. Yeah, yeah, he talks him into it. Oh, yeah. Yeah. Weak-minded bitches, dude. Yeah, I mean, they're Nazis. He gets close to like feeling something, close to human fucking sympathy, to recognize the dimensions of the horror that he's been complicit in. And Mingola is like, non-Abro, you're good. Like, let me walk you through why we need to be doing this. Jesus Christ. So our friend, Miklos, who we've been talking about, is lucky by the standards of Auschwitz. His daughter is old enough to work. And so she and his wife are sent to the right. So they don't get murdered immediately. Meanwhile, he gets pulled out of the mass of prisoners, along with several other doctors among the crowd by Joseph Mengele. The SS was always shorthanded, and they needed men and women with proper medical skills, even if those men and women were Jews who were condemned to die. Miklos and the other doctors who suited Mengele's need became part of what was known as the Sonder Commando. These special units to translate their name literally were used to handle most of the dirty work of actually executing the Holocaust. They would drag bodies out of the gas chamber and incinerate them. They would sort out things like gold fillings and take other possessions from the dead. It's one of the worst things imaginable that you could be forced to do. Now, to keep the Commando functional, the SS allowed them to take things like canned or preserved food from the dead, and often alcohol. The Commando also found it easy to acquire gold and jewelry, which they were able to use sometimes to bribe guards for things like newspapers. These were not seeing newspapers, but they were still like, they gave you some kind of outside context as to how the war is going, like what is happening outside of Auschwitz. This and alcohol are pretty much the only thing that kept these people functional. Miklos basically says every night we drink ourselves into, you know, sleep. Sleep to a stupor? Yeah. How else do you do this job? Right. Well, I mean, fucking Mengele is going completely sober, just like whistling. He's not bothered by this is kind of the thing about Mengele. Most of the SS are also drunk, right? The other doctors are hammered. Like everyone working this. Miklos writes a lot about this one specific SS guy who's like the trigger man. Like whenever they need people shot, this guy, I think he's a captain will like just go and shoot them in the head. And he does this all day. And he's like, he's one of the nicer Nazis to Miklos. And he's clearly just like drinking himself to death while he's doing this job. But but not Mengele. Mengele for Mengele, this is like an unparalleled career opportunity, right? And that's how he treats it. Yeah. So each of these Sonder Commando units, obviously you can't do this job for very long, right? Like for one thing your brain won't handle it. And for another, the the SS doesn't want these people because they have extra privileges, they don't want them around long enough to potentially execute as they eventually will some sort of sabotage. So every Sonder Commando was wiped out every four months. And the next Commando unit's first duty was disposing of the corpses. So me close when he takes this job knows like we've got I've got four months to live basically because I've got picked for this job. That said, he occupied a special position like other slave doctors. He would help to care for workers who took ill and keep track of things like the outbreak of typhus. One of the fucked up things is that like when workers come in sick to the doctors here, they have to try to hide whatever's going on because Mengele pays attention to everyone admitted to the the camp hospital. And if you're not getting well fast enough or if it looks like you're not you're going to be immediately killed, right? Right. Right. So they have to they have to be extremely careful. A big part of what the Sonder Commando do because they have more access to like luxury goods and things like medicine that they take off the dead is they they will like bribe SS guards with gold that they take from the dead. And then use that to go into the camps and distribute medicine and food to some of like the people in the barracks is it's the only reason some of the people who live through Auschwitz live through Auschwitz is that you know these people in this impossible fucking position use this relative level of privilege that they have to save some of their fellow inmates. It's it's it's it's it's bleak quite so yeah. Mingle and Edith Mickloss in particular because he was a skilled human dissectionist, right? He is a doctor who has pathological experience like he is trained to do medical pathology labs and stuff. And Mengele is not a very good doctor, right? And that's the same reason like close understatement whenever the SS guys yeah, but whenever like the SS guys get sick they go to Mickloss and like he actually he's able to do a lot of good for other people in the camp because like some SS guy will get like fucked up or sick and he will help that guy. And then when he's trying to like get into an area of the camp he'll be like, Hey man, like I had your fucking back when you you know got yourself the fucking clap or whatever you know I need I need to get in for a minute. So like again, these are kind of the ways things actually work on the ground, which you might think is weird given how strict in theory these ideas of racial superiority are that these SS men they're letting this Unterman's doctor touch their bodies, but like again, they don't have the SS doctors are poor physicians often. And Joseph hates providing medical care in a clinical setting. He's also not competent. The job of a doctor. The job of a doctor. He's normal doctor. Yeah. He's also just whole thing where I have to you know like I have to do the thing with the knee make the knee move. I like to take their vitals. I like the part of doctoring if you just do fucked up shit. That's really that's really what I'm into. I got into this to sow people together and now everyone wants me to fucking just put band-aids on people. What is this shit? You know what this shit isn't. What? The ads that support our podcast. That's true. It isn't that. It couldn't be any less that. Yep. Hey, Mara Lopez here and let's be real. We all know that SUVs are what's in right now. And if you go with the Toyota, you got a ton of options to choose from like a RAV4, the perfect versatile SUV for riding around in style. Comes in a bunch of cool colors in his super fuel efficient. It'll make you the talk of the town or if you want a little luxury and comfort, there's the venza with features like a panoramic sunroof, heated and ventilated front seats. You'll feel like you're riding on a cloud and it's available in hybrid and all-wheel drive. Awesome. And if you need a little more space, you got the Highlander which can fit up to eight people. So it's perfect for family road trips. It also has all types of available features for both passengers and the driver. It's a great ride. So there you have it folks. Toyota SUVs are the way to go. They are one of the most reliable brands around. You really can't go wrong. So stop by our local Toyota dealer or check out more at and let's go places. What spring break or summer without a day at the theme park? Be a hero and skip the ticket counter and save money. With undercover tourists, you can buy your tickets in advance and save up to 25% on theme park and attraction tickets nationwide. Visit slash podcast for all theme park and attraction tickets. All tickets come with the best price guarantee and a 365 day refund policy. That's slash podcast. Undercovertourist, the trusted name in theme park tickets. Buying a home can be an anxiety inducing endeavor, but doesn't have to be. Sure, the market is uncertain yet. With a sofa mortgage loan, it doesn't have to matter as much. With a sofa mortgage loan, you can save now and save later. Helping to relieve the anxieties of the home buying process. Save now with special home buying pricing and down payment options as little as 3 to 5%. Then, be eligible to save later when rates drop and you refinance. Sofie was even named the best lender for saving money by CNBC select. Thanks to Sofie mortgage loans, you don't need anxiety to be on your mind when shopping for a home. Just saving. Visit slash new home to learn more. That's slash N-E-W-H-O-M-E mortgages through Sofie bank and a member FDIC, NMLS, 696891, loan and offer terms, conditions, restrictions apply, equal housing lender. Ah, we're back. Everybody's having a good time. Everyone's having fun. Yeah. I forgot that we always get to this point in the podcast where everything is just so sad that I want to die. Yeah. So sometimes I'm just going to be doing my taxes. Yeah. Just letting you know, and occasionally respond with, oh, you don't say that way, you'll think I'm paying attention. See, I should probably get to my taxes as well. It's just weighing on my mind. Yeah. Yeah. It's coming up very quickly. It'll be tax time by the time these episodes drop. Happy tax day, everybody. See, that's the nice thing about studying Joseph Mangle. Is it makes the taxes seem a lot less unpleasant? Honestly, it really does. I was thinking that exact same thing. I was like, you know, I'm like stressing out about this. There's so many other worse things in the world than getting all my documents together. See, that's the one solid that Joseph Mangle did all of us. Yeah. Thank you, Joey Mangs. Thank you, Joe. Good times. Good times. So, me close takes this job that's offered to him. And he kind of nods is when Mangle makes a bunch of threats that like if you're not good enough at doing these dissections, you know, I'll send you away to the labor camp and stuff. And this is like, you have to, you have to think about what an impossible fucking position me close is in because he has no idea if his wife and daughter are still alive. Like they've been immediately separated. He has no contact with them. He's quickly told when he meets with the other sonderkamander, they're like, yeah, man, they're going to kill us all in like three months. Like that's just what they do every couple of months. Have some fucking gin, you know, get through the night. So yeah, he goes for like weeks. He has no answer to the question of what's happened to his family. And he's just being handed bodies to dissect by Dr. Mangle. We'll talk more about that in a little bit. But for right now, it's worth digging into exactly what Joseph was doing at Auschwitz. The work of carrying out selections and ordering the massacre of typhoid patients was of course enough to qualify him as a bastard. We've already met the bastard thresholds. Yeah, the bastard threshold has been far surpassed. Really? My opinion. We hit that at the latest during the operation, Barbarossa. Yeah, I mean, I thought I have a pretty low bar for bastards. So yeah, he'd been a bastard. Yeah, he leapt right over that low bar. So let's talk about what he was doing here. You know, we talked about what he did with those typhoid patients. But that's not why he's famous for being the angel of death. And for an overview of that, I'm going to quote now from the urologic history museum in an article talking about Nazi experiments at Auschwitz. In the first phase of his experiments, Mangle is subjected pairs of twins and people with physical handicaps to specific medical examinations that could be carried out on the living organism. Usually painful and exhausting, these examinations lasted for hours and were a difficult experience for starved, terrified children for such were the majority of the twins. The subjects were photographed. Plaster casts were made of their teeth and jaws and their fingerprints and toe prints were taken. As soon as the examinations of a particular pair of twins or dwarf were finished, Mangle ordered them killed by phenol injections so that he could go on to the next phase of his experiments. The comparative analysis of internal organs at autopsy. Although gynecology was not his specialty, Mangle conducted experiments on pregnant women. He had them infected with typhoid in order to determine whether or not the children would be born with the infection too. Ruth Elias was pregnant when she was transferred from Theresa's stat to Auschwitz. She said, I delivered a big beautiful blonde girl, but Mangle ordered that my breast be bound so that as he said, we can see how long a newborn baby can survive without food. After watching her baby suffer for several days, a female check doctor gave Elias a syringe with an overdose of morphine to end the child's agony. There's a lot of that. Some of the most unsettling stories about Mangle are the things that make it clear that he's not this unhinged, unchecked like vehicle of maliciousness. Evil is for him. It's a technology. It's a tool. It's like picking up a screwdriver because there are stories where he will carefully and in an excellent advanced medical fashion, deliver a baby and then immediately send the mother and baby off to the gas chamber. It's so fucked up because it's like we'd like to imagine, especially someone is, twisted as this fucking guy, being Jigsaw. But he's like, if Jigsaw were fucking boring, he's like if Jigsaw were in fucking marketing. If Jigsaw were a middle manager at a firm that produced murdered people, and he is doing some bad stuff, but he's doing some bad stuff at like the administrative middle manager level. That is the thing that he is doing. Often he does kill people. He does do some of these like, he'll inject chloroform into people's hearts so that they can be killed in autopsy. A lot of the killing and a lot of the butchery is just other doctors who are better that he has his slaves that he makes them do the work for him. He's delegating a lot of this. And these doctors, by the way, like absolutely no moral judgment on them. They are participating and helping him carry out fucked up experiments so that they can save as many people as possible through the crack. And they are saving lives. It's an incredibly, it's literally the worst position a human being could be put in. Like they're doing. Other than doing this podcast. Yeah. Other than doing this podcast. So a lot of mechlosis work at Auschwitz, involved autopsy and dozens of twin pairs of children who had been killed by the Nazis. Popular accounts as we've talked about a little bit of of Mangle's butchery go wider than this. You will find claims that he's so sod sets of twins together as part of some mad experiment and that he ejected colored dies into their eyes to make them change colors. And this is where we get to the stuff about Mangle that's not entirely accurate. Some of the more lurid experiments that he's accused of undertaking either didn't happen or just weren't as crazy as they sound. Mind you, all of this is bad science. Right. The work that Mangle did at Auschwitz was not considered unhinged or disconnected from the work of the broader German medical establishment. Rather than being a mad scientist conducting horror at Auschwitz like some sort of demented musician, he was as we've said a mid-level piece of an engine of scientific quackery that needed body parts and lots of them to further research into heredity. And we are going to talk about that and a lot more. But I feel like we've hit our limit for this episode. I've hit my limit for the next 15 years. Yeah. This is too much for me. I'm fine. I'm good. Well, we'll for the next one. For the next time we have you on, Matt. We'll find some guy who like, I don't know, convinced people to drink horse piss so they'd grow muscles. That's my favorite. Yeah. We'll get one of those guys in here. Do an episode on Mr. Hands. Yeah. Said you got him. Oh, no, no, that's a good one. Yeah. Fuck the death by a horse. That's heroes of the old internet. Yes. No, this is so obviously I think we started by talking about this. But like people keep asking for Mangle over and over. And like number one, as we've said, it's not responsible to just do Mangle up because that's kind of falling into this great man of history. Like he was this one terrible guy who happened to get a job where he could hurt people. No, no, no. He was part of a massive engine of medical tyranny that was created by the Nazis as part of like their racial plans. And he was tied in directly to mainstream medical, like the mainstream medical establishment of his time. And that's an important part of his story. But also like, this is just so much worse than most of our episodes. There's not like, there's not like these, you know, moments where he does, he's never silly. Like he's never ridiculous. He's like, which only makes him more evil. Yeah, no, he's he's a quiet, competent monster. Yeah. Yeah. It's the worst kind of evil because, you know, he's not even occasionally stepping on a rake in hidden in this case. Yeah. Yeah. Donald Trump is evil. But you get those moments of beautiful comedy where he gets arrested or something. Yes. Yes. And this guy is just, yeah, he's the worst type of evil. He's the type of evil that makes me want to do my taxes. Yeah. Yeah. That's really evil. This this episode has been sponsored by the internal revenue service, the IRS. We don't seem so bad now, do we? Yes. Yes. The IRS who has, you know, at this point, my endorsement, I'm a big fan of the way you make me think about other things. So pay your taxes on time. Yeah. I think, you know, I think it's time to end those 13 years of sobriety I have guys. Yeah. JK. I'm just glad. Yeah. I'm I'm I'm I'm going to just kind of sit and stare at the wall for several minutes. I'm going to hug my child. Yeah. And I'm going to remind you that if you like podcasts, I do a the wire rewatch podcast, put yourself a gun. We do the sprinkles and now we're doing the wire. It's a lot of fun. And every every it's a good time. Everybody have fun. Yeah. Listen to that. I'll be on your wire podcast soon. Yes, you will. Yeah. We'll we'll we'll light in the load a little bit. Absolutely. And you know, it's it's got its depressing moments, but but not so much. Yeah, man, I'm not compared to this shit. Yep. Yep. Yep. Yep. Yep. You're right. Bazumba. Behind the bastards is a production of Cool Zone media. For more from Cool Zone media, visit our website or check us out on the iHeart Radio app, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. Going to Walt Disney World this year, visit undercover tourist first with undercover tourist, save up to $82 per ticket, get your hotel and rental car with undercover tourist and save an extra 30%. Experience Disney for less with undercover tourist and authorized Disney seller with over 20 years of superior service. Visit undercover slash podcast for the lowest prices on all Walt Disney World resort tickets. Plus your tickets come with a 365 day refund guarantee. That's undercover slash podcast. Do you love fashion? Do you love getting compliments on how well you're dressed? Are you always seeking the latest trends? Then we're talking to you. Boston is your fashion destination and the only place to go for all those nods, head turns and new styles. No matter the day, season or occasion, Boston proper has what you're looking for, sophisticated, confident clothing designed to flatter and get notice. So visit Boston now and start creating your perfect wardrobe. Boston proper. Wear it like no one else. Do you live with psoriasis or psoriatric arthritis? The National Psoriasis Foundation has everything you need to live your best life with psoriatric disease. You can find their soundbytes podcast wherever you listen. Or at Npf can also help you find specialists or navigate insurance hurdles. No matter your challenge with psoriatric disease, npf has solutions for you. Visit or call 800-723-9166.