Margot Mifflin
July 19, 1991 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Children of the Flames: Dr. Josef Mengele and the Untold Story of the Twins of Auschwitz

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Lucette Matalon Lagnado, Sheila Cohn Dekel
publisher
Morrow
genre
History

We gave it an A

Children of the Flames is an account of Auschwitz under Josef Mengele, the Nazi doctor who performed medical experiments on 3,000 Jewish twins in the name of genetic ”research.” Lagnado, a journalist, and Dekel, the widow of one of Mengele’s subjects, have collaborated on a narrative that moves between the story of the doctor and the oral histories of 18 survivors of his experiments. It seems miraculous that these people managed to rebuild their lives after their blighted childhoods, but their emotional freedom has been hard-won: Some have had breakdowns, others have been plagued with the guilt of the survivor, or by shame about the ghastly surgeries they underwent. Children of the Flames exposes a crucial, if agonizing, piece of Holocaust history. A

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