Freeson, Reginald Yarnitz: Copy correspondence regarding the death of Josef Mengele

Scope and Content

Papers of Reginald Yarnitz Freeson, 1985-1991, comprise correspondence and cuttings regarding the death of Josef Mengele, including a copy of the original Brazilian police forensic report of the body exhumed in 1985 said to be that of Mengele (1411/44) and a descriptive list of the key letters (1411/1). Correspondents include the German Ambassador to Great Britain, the Frankfurt Public Prosecutors Office; the Director of the US Office of Special Investigations, Washington; the Brazilian Ambassador to Great Britain.

Administrative / Biographical History

This collection of correspondence and cuttings documents Reg Freeson's persistent efforts to establish the truth about the fate of Josef Mengele, the notorious SS doctor who was responsible for the deaths of thousands of prisoners at Auschwitz. In particular, Freeson attempts to find out whether a body exhumed from a grave in Brazil in 1985 was in fact that of Mengele, as alleged. The responses he receives from the German, Israeli and American authorities are inconclusive.

Josef Mengele (March 15, 1911- February 7, 1979) was a German SS officer and a physician in the German Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau. He gained notoriety chiefly for being one of the SS physicians who supervised the selection of arriving transports of prisoners, determining who was to be killed and who was to become a forced labourer, and for performing human experiments on camp inmates, amongst whom Mengele was known as the Angel of Death.

After the war, he first hid in Austria under an assumed name, then escaped and lived in South America, first in Argentina (until 1959) and finally in Brazil, in the cities of Serra Negra, Moji das Cruzes, and then died in Bertioga, where he drowned in the sea after suffering a stroke. His identity was confirmed by forensic experts from UNICAMP (Campinas University) using DNA testing on his remains.



Access Information


Acquisition Information

Reginald Freeson

Other Finding Aids

Description exists to this archive on the Wiener Library's online catalogue

Archivist's Note

Entry compiled by Howard Falksohn.

Conditions Governing Use

Copies can be made for personal use. Permission must be sought for publication.

Geographical Names