Tel Aviv (Jan. 13)
— Joseph Mengele, who was the chief physician in Auschwitz where he conducted experiments on camp inmates, is now working for the government of Uruguay as an advisor on how to torture inmates, especially Jewish inmates, in the notorious “Freedom Prison” the main detention center for political prisoners in Uruguay.
This was reported last weekend in Maariv by columnist Jacobo Timerman who based his story on Agence France Presse (AFP) reports from Brazil. One wire dispatch from Rio de Janeiro quoted a “reliable source,” who asked to remain anonymous, about the work Mengele was doing. Four days earlier, a man identified as Daniel Rey Pisma, a deserter from Uruguay’s navy, told an AFP reporter in Sao Paulo that Uruguay’s government is engaged in torturing political prisoners.
Timerman, the former editor of La Opinion in Buenos Aires, who himself was a political prisoner in Argentina, noted that given the close timing of the two AFP reports, it is reasonable to assume that the reliable source in the Rio dispatch was Pisma. Timerman wrote that “Pisma has good reason to be acquainted with the ‘Freedom Prison’. For three years, from 1976 to 1979, he worked for the construction service of the Uruguayan army. He carries with him many photos showing instances of torture in which offices wearing uniforms of the Paraguayan army are taking part, and also provided exact data about refugees from Argentina who were tortured and murdered by the Uruguayan officers. This is the information he provided (the AFP) without anonymity.”
MENGELE MET WITH PRISON OFFICIALS
The AFP report which cited a reliable source said this source reported that last Oct. 20 Mengele was seen in the “Freedom Prison” and that he participated, under the name of Willy Karp, in a meeting with the heads of the prison, Fausto Gonzales and Mario, Timerman wrote.
Continuing, Timerman noted the AFP report stated that Mengele described to the prison officials several scientific methods for carrying out torture, using special methods with the Jewish inmates in the prison. The source said the Jewish prisoners include Gavriel Mendelzweig, Luis Polakof and Jacob Schneider. During this meeting between Mengele and the prison officials, the chief physician of the prison also participated.
Timerman noted that the reports about Mengele appeared to be authentic in view of a report given by Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal in Jerusalem last month that Mengele is now based in Uruguay, one of the countries he moves in freely in addition to Brazil, Chile and Paraguay. Wiesenthal also said at the same time that Mengele may be ready to surrender to West German authorities or to commit suicide.