Joe Rosenblum of Miedzyrzec Podlaski, Poland




First-Hand Account

At the Auschwitz concentration camp Joe Rosenblum was also able to find work in the hospital area where Mengele worked. His job was to clean, whether it be Mengele's boots or the hospital floor. While working there, Joe was able to overhear conversations between Mengele and other doctors assigned to work with him. Joe understood German, but he never let on that he did for fear that he would be sent instantly to the gas chambers.

From Joe Rosenblum's autobiography, "Defy the Darkness: A Tale of Courage in the Shadow of Mengele":

Still, two overheard conversations filled me with happiness. The first occurred when Mengele was in his office discussing politics with his three doctors. He had such discussions with them almost every morning. They all had access to daily newspapers, which they read religiously....

Almost every day the young ones would ask Mengele what was going on in the Fatherland. They were reading in their papers about staggering German military losses, and they were worried....I was often around during these discussions, because Mengele still didn't think I understood German. One morning, I went in to clean Mengele's offices. The doctors and Mengele were having their usual cups of coffee and asking Mengele why the Gypsies, Masons, Slavic races, and Jews were being eliminated. One of the doctors earnestly asked Mengele, "Why are we killing Jews? They never did anything to us. They have the best engineers, artists, scientists, doctors, musicians. Germany was built with streets named after Jews....'

'Meine lieben Kinder,' Mengele said to the three doctors. 'The Jewish people, no matter where they are, they become the best in the world. Yes, you're right. They have all kinds of medicine, music, and scientific discoveries.' Then he described how rich some of them were, including the Rothschilds, and how the French borrowed from the Jews so the country could fight a war. 'There can't be two smart peoples in the world. We're going to win the war, so only the Aryan race will stand.'

One doctor asked a question, to which Mengele replied: 'My father fought in the German-Austrian war with the tsar. That was in 1914, when they started fighting, and we kept winning the war. Then the United States came in, and we started to lose the war. Now, the whole world is involved against us and we're only 90 million people.'


Still, Mengele said, the Germans had some of the French and Italians on their side. ' We didn't realize the Jewish people were going to fight,' Mengele said, slowly, deliberately, without any passion. Then Mengele stood up and said something that made me want to grab his neck and crush his throat, to kick his balls until they were jelly, then stomp on his face.


'Actually, we never had anything against the Jewish people. But they're smarter than we are. Hitler wanted to be smarter than the rest of the world, so we had to eliminate the Jews. In reality, they never did anything to us. They didn't even have a country of their own to fight against us. We have to eliminate them. There can only be one smart people and it's us. We're winning the war. Our Fuehrer knows what he's doing.'

One of the doctors just shook his head, and Mengele proclaimed again that the Fatherland was working on the world's most destructive weapon, which would change everything overnight. The young ones just looked at him pityingly. They knew it was a lost cause. Then the talk ended. It was time for Mengele and his doctors to make their rounds, to see how quickly and efficiently Jews were being killed...."








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