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Is Mengele Responsible for Brazilian Twins?

Show suggests ‘Angel of Death’ continued his experiments

Marc Tracy
December 03, 2009

Of all Dr. Joseph Mengele’s infamous experiments on humans, it’s said none were more important to him than the stuff he did to and about twins. At Auschwitz, Mengele’s “investigations” resulted in little besides unspeakable suffering. But could Mengele’s legacy include something else? A new episode of the National Geographic Channel’s Explorer posits that Mengele may have continued conducting twin tests after escaping to South America, and that these may in turn be the cause of the astounding 38 pairs of blonde, blue-eyed twins that have been born among only 80 households within one square mile in a community in middle-of-nowhere Brazil. Frankly, it would almost be weirder if Mengele wasn’t the cause of that.

Marc Tracy is a staff writer at The New Republic, and was previously a staff writer at Tablet. He tweets @marcatracy.