In what sounds like the plot of a John Carpenter film, the Daily Telegraph reports that a village in Brazil might be populated by genetically altered twins created by notorious Nazi doctor Josef Mengele.
[Image: The Brazilian twin town of Josef Mengele].
“For years scientists have failed to discover why as many as one in five pregnancies in a small Brazilian town have resulted in twins – most of them blond haired and blue eyed,” we read. “But residents of Candido Godoi now claim that Mengele made repeated visits there in the early 1960s, posing at first as a vet but then offering medical treatment to the women of the town.”
According to an historian named Jorge Camarasa who has written a book about Mengele’s bio-genetic legacy, “Candido Godoi may have been Mengele’s laboratory, where he finally managed to fulfil his dreams of creating a master race of blond haired, blue eyed Aryans. There is testimony that he attended women, followed their pregnancies, treated them with new types of drugs and preparations, that he talked of artificial insemination in human beings, and that he continued working with animals, proclaiming that he was capable of getting cows to produce male twins.”
The article points out that “the town’s official crest shows two identical profiles and a road sign welcomes visitors to a ‘Farming Community and Land of the Twins’. There is also a museum, the House of the Twins.”
“Nobody knows for sure exactly what date Mengele arrived in Candido Godoi,” Camarasa adds, “but the first twins were born in 1963, the year in which we first hear reports of his presence.”
This sounds insanely implausible to me – more like a Nazi-infused origin story animated by a pronounced fear of witchcraft – but it’s a fascinatingly bizarre proposition.
In many ways, meanwhile, it reminds me quite strikingly of a book called The Angel Maker by Stefan Brijs, which I just picked up last week. The back cover description:
The village of Wolfheim is a quiet little place until the geneticist Dr. Victor Hoppe returns after an absence of nearly twenty years. The doctor brings with him his infant children – three identical boys all sharing a disturbing disfigurement. He keeps them hidden away until Charlotte, the woman who is hired to care for them, begins to suspect that the triplets – and the good doctor – aren’t quite what they seem. As the villagers become increasingly suspicious, the story of Dr. Hoppe’s past begins to unfold, and the shocking secrets that he has been keeping are revealed. A chilling story that explores the ethical limits of science and religion, The Angel Maker is a haunting tale in the tradition of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Frankenstein.
Only here, it’s Dr. Mengele creating dark angels in the rain forest.