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Children of the Flames: Dr Josef Mengele and the Untold Story of the Children of Auschwitz Paperback – 28 May 1992


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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; Reprint edition (28 May 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140169318
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140169317
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.4 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 287,292 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Beckie on 23 Mar. 2011
Format: Paperback
Since GCSE history I have been an avid reader of books relating to the Holocaust, and despite some people thinking that this is a slightly strange interest, I think it is truly important that we take note of those who survived atrocities worse than what most of us can even begin to comprehend. This book is a truly harrowing account of the Dr Mengele who in one moment chose whether an innocent human would live or die. What shocked me is the transformation from a young, happy child into the most evil villian Auschwitz. Then there are the twins, children whose mothers volunteered them in the hope that it would save them. It did to an extent, the twins were priviledged amongst the Auschwitz population, they lived a life that the other prisioners would have dreamt for but yet they endured the most hideous, unecessary "procedures", most dying, some dying and a slow painful death and others left with the horrific memory of their time in Auschwitz. I loved this book and what will stay with me is the story of the Stern sisters and the last time they saw the mother. I cannot imagine the horror that they suffered.Read this book, if simply for the review on the front, we cannot ignore the words of the Holocaust survivors until each last one has told their story and we have listened.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 11 Dec. 1997
Format: Paperback
By Joe E. White Children of the Flames chronicles the notorious medical experimental activities of Dr. Josef Mengele on approximately three thousand twins who passed through the Auschwitz death camp during WWII until its liberation at the end of the war. Only 160 of the three thousand twins survived and now fifty years later they have told their story of how they were given special privileges in Auschwitz due to Mengele's interest in twins and how as a result they have suffered during the past fifty years as the children who survived the still unknown and unexplained medical experiments and injections which they were subjected to at the hands of Josef Mengele who has come to be known as the Angel of Death.
The survivors tell how as children in Auschwitz they were visited by a smiling "Uncle Mengele" who brought them candy and clothes and then had them delivered to his medical laboratory either in trucks painted with the Red Cross emblem or in his own personal car to undergo his heinou
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bridgey on 30 Dec. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of those books that because of the subject matter you feel a little wrong in not giving it full stars. I have always had an interest in the WW2 and the Nazi's and because of this I have read a number of books on the subject of the holocaust.

I decided to buy Children of the Flames in order to get a little more information as to what really happened in the camps. The blurb promised to deal with the twins of the holocaust and how they were treated, this is something that other books seem to only skirt over and not go into too much detail.

This was the main issue for me. The writer has obviously researched their subject well, but the majority of the book deals with Dr Mengele. The twins stories are told at the beginning of each chapter, focussing firstly on their life before they were taken by the Nazi's. Each twin has a paragraph or so to tell a portion of their tale of that particular part of the story. For me this got quite confusing and even a little repetitive. I would have much preferred each set of twins to have a full chapter dedicated entirely to their journey and experiences.

The experiments that happened at the camps are only barely touched on, I know this may seem a little gruesome but I had hoped for a lot more factual information. What experiments were carried out? What was the result? Etc.

The majority of the book deals with Mengele and his life during and after the war. This is ok if you are not already familiar with him but again, I bought the book for more details of the atrocities committed.

My final gripe is that the last quarter is made up of notes that relate to the preceding text. This meant that they were a little disjointed and I didn't really want to read through them.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Gary Selikow on 4 Jun. 2008
Format: Paperback
This harrowing book traces both the life of 'the angel of death', the psycopathic monster, Dr Josef Mengele, and his victims who survived.
Mengele carried out a range of horrific experiments on a range of people, mainly twins. particularly Jewish and Gipsey children, and various others.
As Mengele's life is described, so is the life of the survivors, the horrors that they experienced at Auschwitz and how they lived in the decades afterwards.
"Most of the twins began their descent into Auschwitz by witnessing their entire families being led away from them to be killed. In their special barracks, located just yards away from the crematoriums, they observed the Nazis' extermination of Jews at close range. Twins as young as five and six years of age endured torture, daily blood tests and starvation diets, as well as facing exposure to epidemics of cholera, tuberculosis and other deadly diseases that were rampant because of unsanitary conditions. Worst of all, of course, were the Mengele's barbaric pseudoscientific experiments. But as horrific as their lives were the twins enjoyed a special privileged status, for they were regarded as "Mengele's children". And as such they were spared the random selections and march to the gas chambers that threatened every other Auschwitz inmate'.

The testimony of a handful of survivors illustrates the horror of Mengele and Auschwitz, and the scars of the experiences suffered by his victims, and how they experienced them through their lives.
In the testimony of Moshe Offer, who was twelve years old at the time: 'When they opened the doors to our cattle cars, there were lots of dead children. During the trip, some mothers couldn't bare to hear the sound of their hungry babies-and so they killed them.
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