Survivor of Mengele's twin studies recounts her experiences on Reddit


I read it as it was happening, and saved it to my list of things that I need to go back to again and again throughout my life.

The idea that anyone could have suffered as much as her, and yet forgive – and be so much happier and alive for is – is boggling and awe-inspiring.


Wow, haunting story. Amazing that she was able to find it in herself to forgive the perpetrators. The part where she recounts the many ordinary people at the hospital who risked their necks sneaking food to the subjects or otherwise aiding their survival was interesting too. It’s easy to forget that as evil as the Nazi regime was, most of its actions were carried out by people that had once been capable of basic kindness and empathy, and some managed to cling to that part of their humanity even when working for the likes of Dr. Mengele.

My brother and I have also been part of a twin study for the last few decades, but so far it’s just involved giving blood samples and filling out a short questionnaire every 5-10 years. Terrifying to think about how easily medical research can become an instrument of horror once you take the ethical restraints away.

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Is your brother funny too?

Hopefully, that will be one of the things the study will eventually determine.


Have they determined which one is the Evil Twin?


There is also an documentary about her, Forgiving Dr. Mengele, that I saw on Netflix. She’s a really inspiring woman.

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The city I lived in in China was the site of the Japanese invasion and one of the locations where experiments like this were carried out. You can visit the museum commemorating the invasion and see what the soldiers did to the people (which seem to have been more bizarre forms of torture rather than scientific research of any description). There are a number of Japanese people living peacefully in the city, but there’s a strong undercurrent of anger and bitterness against Japan that even spreads to young children. Some of it is fueled by the political powers, but you can see how deep the scars from this kind of event can go.

I admire the concept that forgiveness is something you must do for yourself, as in the end the bitterness is just harming you. Sending a strong message that while you are not brushing the event under the carpet or denying the responsibility of those who did the action, you will not pursue justice for the sake of your own peace and that of the wider community is very powerful. It’s not unproblematic on a larger scale, but when it is a free decision you make for yourself, it seems like one of the only ways to really move on from something like this.


I like that saying, “Not forgiving is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die.”


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