Sunday, August 1, 2010

the myth in facts :D

After having watched a National Geographic
Premier presentation on this rainy, miserable Sunday night here at home, I was compelled to touch my blog after more than two weeks of not having written anything at all. Gosh has it been that long? I wonder why I'm compelled to blog when I am in either miserable or ravenous mode these days hahahaha

The town of Candido Godoi in faraway rural Brazil has seen itself catapulted to international attention for the staggering number of twins in their town population of only 7,000 people. The farming community is a quite little town with many members having German descent. As to the question why this particular place on Earth has seen the biggest percentage of twins in comparison to its meagre population, many rather crude explanations are offered by its people while in the eyes of sensationalism there is a deeper and more historic origin to this phenomenon.

Josef Mengele, was the chief doctor at the Birkenau extermination camp in Poland. He, along with other medicial practitioners in the camp were responsible for sifting and identifying which prisoners were fit for work and which ones seemed incapable - doomed for the gas chambers. It was alleged that the nickname "Angel of Death" was accorded to him by camp inmates because when he stood on the platform inspecting new arrivals and directing some to the right, some to the left, his white coat and white arms outstretched evoked the image of a white angel. Josef's medical obsession though was the study of twins and he carefully aligned this interest with how he could scientifically create for the Nazi regime an Aryan race which was superior to the rest of the world while catering to his own obsession - producing them in multitude - twinning. He had access to the ultimate test subjects - human captives. His experiments were described as butchery at its most inhuman state. All done in the pursuit of the mystery of twins and how they were created.

When the Nazi era came to an end with the marching of the Soviets onto Nazi territory, Mengele fled to South America and sought refuge there. There in the capital of Argentina, Buenos Aires, Mengele's trail began to fade away and at this point myth slowly dissolved the edges of reality as to his whereabouts and activities. But research by the National Geographic team led to finding out he really did settle around certain points around Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. It was alleged he worked as a veterinarian and went around treating bovine around a significant number of farms all around Brazil. He also apparently and with testimonial evidence from the people he came into contact with, worked with pregnant women and prescribed and supplied them medications. These series of events sparked the belief that he did continue to carry out his experiments and on a more realistic scale too as he was working with civilians already and not in a controlled laboratory setting. Then mention of him coming over to Candido Godoi and actually providing medical treatments for animals and individuals there had historians, scientists and investigators alluding to the fact that he may have played an instrumental role in the spiraling of the twin population in the said town. This is the vantage point of the National Geographic Program.

But despite all the speculations and startling evidences pointing to him actually practicing some form of medicine, there were also testimonies and even his infamous black bag filled with the detritus of a man-on-the-run, concluding that HE never did any medical work when he was in South America. The families and people who he lived with all throughout his refuge in South America all affirm this fact. In the end the National Geographic program concluded that Mengele DID not play any function in the unusual number of twins in Candido Godoi. The pundits all point to SCIENCE as the main adjudicator to this mystery and the program ended with genetic experiments conducted and samples taken to be filed away for a much-awaited conclusion and perhaps an answer to the eternal mystery of twin births in human existence.

I would say that it was a miserable ending to an otherwise fascinating program. The mystery lover in me was bitterly disappointed that such a program could end in such a cookie-cutter way. I was wondering what the implications would have been if he was indeed responsible for the twin mystery in the small village. It would have caused a sensational explosion in worldwide media as well as in medical science. But the moral implications would have been enormous too. It would have been quite a show!!! Now the show is over and the balloon has blown right in my face.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Liisa
I'm sorry that you didn't have much to do, but you did show again that you can write a good article.

Best Wishes, Ben

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