Menu JTA Search

Klarsfeld: U.S. Authorities Could Have, but Failed to Nab Mengele Soon After World War Ii Ended

Nazi-hunter Serge Klarsfeld charged today that the American authorities could have, but failed to arrest Auschwitz death camp doctor Josef Mengele between 1945-49 when he lived more or less openly in his native city of Gunzberg, Bavaria, in the U.S. occupation zone of West Germany.

Klarsfeld, a lawyer who, with his wife, Beate, has devoted his life to tracking down wanted Nazi war criminals, told the French news agency, Agence France Presse, that “it is practically impossible that the (American) authorities did not notice Mengele’s presence.”

He said Mengele lived in Gunzburg for four years, under his own name or under a false identity. His family is well known there, being the owners of the town’s largest industry, a factory producing agricultural machinery. ” It seems more than highly unlikely that the American administration in Bavaria failed to identify him throughout the period,” Klarsfeld said.

Mengele, who performed brutal and inhumane medical experiments on hundreds of Auschwitz inmates and personally selected those to be sent to the gas chambers, reportedly has been hiding out in South America since 1953. Klarsfeld said he and his wife hoped that the investigation just ordered by U.S. Attomey General William French Smith will verify whether Mengele travelled to North America before he found asylum in Paraguay.