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Survivor’s grandson buys Mengele diary

(JTA) — The grandson of a Holocaust survivor reportedly bought the diary of the notorious Josef Mengele.

The 180-page journal was sold for an undisclosed sum Tuesday "to an East Coast Jewish philanthropist who wishes to remain anonymous," The Hartford Courant reported Wednesday, citing an e-mail from Bill Panagopulos of Alexander Autographs historical artifacts house.

"He is the grandson of an Auschwitz survivor who personally encountered Mengele at Auschwitz," Panagopulos wrote. "He intends to donate the manuscript to a museum devoted to the Holocaust."

"I am overjoyed," Panagopulos told the newspaper, "that the manuscript is going where it belongs, where it will be available to historians and scholars."

On Monday, it was reported that Alexander Autographs intended to auction off the journal.

Nazi memorabilia collectors vying for the artifact belonging to the Nazi doctor known at Auschwitz as the "Angel of Death" were expected to push the price up to about $64,000.

The owner of the diary, reported to be a source close to the Mengele family, acquired the volume in Brazil after Mengele died there in 1979, the Daily Mail reported. 

The diary begins in May 1960, when Mengele was 49.

At Auschwitz, Mengele determined who would live and die, and he conducted horrific, quasi-medical experiments, including on twins.

News of the auction prompted anger and revulsion among Holocaust survivors and their families. In a statement released Monday, The American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and Their Descendants called the proposed sale of the journal "a cynical act of exploitation aimed at profiting from the writings of one of the most heinous Nazi criminals."
 

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