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1943: Death and Resistance
 pg. 458 
Natzweiler-Struthof, located near Strasbourg, France, was one of the smallest of the concentration camps. The inmates worked in the granite quarry and labored underground in arms production. In 1943 a gas chamber was built at the camp, paid for by the Institute of Anatomy at Strasbourg University. Jews and Gypsies were transferred from Auschwitz to serve as subjects for various grotesque experiments, after which they were gassed and cremated; the crematorium is seen here.
Photo: Ministere des Anciens Combattants / SHMM
This drawing, sketched by an unknown inmate of Auschwitz, depicts SS doctor Josef Mengele selecting the sick and weak for extermination. Mengele, like the other doctors in the camp, played a vital role in the killing process by choosing who would die immediately and who would be worked to death. Today this sketch is in the Auschwitz Museum.
Photo: Bilderdienst Suddeutscher Verlag
Josef Mengele

The notorious "Angel of Death," Josef Mengele determined the fate of thousands of Jews shipped to Auschwitz. As chief doctor of the extermination camp, Mengele supervised the selections for the gas chambers and conducted horrific medical experiments.

Mengele, who received his medical degree from the University of Frankfurt am Main in 1938, joined the staff of the Institute of Hereditary Biology and Race Research, where he specialized in the study of twins and race science. During the war years, Mengele joined the Waffen-SS and served as a medical officer in France and Russia. He was appointed chief doctor of Auschwitz in May 1943.

At Auschwitz, Mengele pursued his pseudoscientific research and personally selected victims from the steady stream of arrivals to the camp. People with deformities were immediately killed and sent to Mengele's lab for study. All twins became the subjects of his painful and grotesque experiments.

After the war Mengele was mistakenly released by U.S. authorities and eventually made his way to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Mengele was rumored to have drowned in 1978. An international team of forensics pathologists performed an autopsy on an exhumed body in 1985 and concluded that there was a high probability that it was indeed Mengele's last remains.
Photo: Main Commission for the Investigation of Nazi War Crimes / United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archive

 June 7, 1943: Dr. Klaus Clauberg reports from Auschwitz that the apparatus to sterilize 1000 Jewish women a day is being set in place.
 June 8, 1943: The Jewish community at Zbaraz, Ukraine, is destroyed.
 June 11, 1943: SS chief Heinrich Himmler orders stepped-up deportations of Jews from Polish ghettos to death camps.
 June 12, 1943: The Jewish community at Berezhany, Ukraine, is murdered.
1943: Death and Resistance
 pg. 458 
The Holocaust Chronicle
© 2009 Publications International, Ltd.