We have all regrettably heard about the infamously cruel and barbaric Nazi murderer, (Dr) Josef Mengele, ימח שמו וזכרו. This low-life “drew a line on the wall of the children’s block 150 centimetres (about 5 feet) from the floor and children whose heads could not reach the line were sent to the gas chambers”.
The purpose of this blog post is to retell a story that has not (to my knowledge) been told. I know the story because a Doctor of a particular survivor recently related it to me. The survivor had submerged the experience throughout his life and had only shared it with his wife and the Doctor. He related his experience to the Doctor because of the oath of confidentiality meant that it would stay a secret. The survivor’s directive was that it remain confidential until he passed away. Sadly, the survivor is no longer with us.
This survivor, let’s call him Kadosh, was sent to Auschwitz. Like others, he stood precariously between life and death. Unlike others, however, his face was recognisable. He had been a World Champion in a certain sport, and had competed at the Olympic Games. The Nazi guards recognised him immediately, and considered that it would be a good idea if Kadosh taught them the finer parts of the sport. Kadosh was, after all, a world-renowned expert. Jews were just disposable commodities, and this one had some extraneous value. It would enrich their leisure time.
And so it unfolded. Kadosh was training the guards and improving their game. This kept him alive. The arrangement continued until one day, the dreaded Mengele eyed Kadosh. Kadosh wasn’t a twin and had no particular interest to Mengele from a “medical” or “anthropological” perspective. No, perhaps unknown to many, Mengele was a molester, a molester of young males. Mengele took a liking to Kadosh, and each day sexually forced himself on Kadosh. This was another example of the self-contradictory nature of the “superior race”. The Nazis persecuted homosexuals, and yet, for his own sick sexual gratification, the murderous Mengele, hypocritically and perversely “gratified” himself by repeatedly raping Kadosh in his office.
Kadosh was also given other duties. I won’t describe them here for a number of reasons.
There was a period of two weeks when Mengele didn’t force himself on Kadosh. One day, in front of the officers, Kadosh had enough and resisted by cursing Mengele, and telling him “Go kiss my backside”. Mengele instructed the officers to give Kadosh a beating that he would not forget but to make sure that Kadosh didn’t die. When he recovered from the beating, Mengele resumed raping Kadosh.
Kadosh eventually immigrated to Australia and married. His wife moved to an old age home after Kadosh died. She only had one wish which she relayed to the same Doctor
Please, when I die, make sure they don’t bury me in a white casket”
The significance of a white casket is like that of a white bridal dress. It signifies a certain virginal purity. Alas, Kadosh had never been able to physically consummate his marriage. Kadosh was affected for life. His wife silently accepted the life-long psychological curse that transformed her husband into a virtual eunuch.
Kadosh’s wife wasn’t Jewish.
The story shook me up and once more infused me with perspective. Next time you are feeling low, think of Kadosh and his “life”. Think of the lady that looked after him all those years. In fact, think of him at other times, too. It’s the least we can do.