Was Nazi torturer Josef Mengele influenced by Christianity or Darwinism?

Story here from Evolution News.

Here is some of the evidence collected in the article.

In Mengele: The Complete Story, Gerald L. Posner and John Ware write:

Precisely what corrupted Mengele’s eager young mind is hard to pin down. Probably it was a combination of the political climate and that his real interest in genetics and evolution happened to coincide with the developing concept that some human beings afflicted by disorders were unfit to reproduce, even to live. Perhaps the real catalyst in this lethal brew was that Mengele, first at Munich and later at Frankfurt, studied under the leading exponents of this “unworthy life” theory. His consummate ambition was to succeed in this fashionable new field of evolutionary research.

[…]Medicine at German universities was in any case more complementary to Mengele’s real interest in evolution, since it was taught in accordance with the guidelines of the social Darwinist theory that Hitler and a growing number of German academics found so attractive.

[…]One of the earliest influence on the student doctor was Dr. Ernst Rudin, whose lectures Mengele regularly attended….Rudin was a leading proponent of the theory that doctors should destroy “life devoid of value.” Rudin himself was one of the architects of Hitler’s compulsory sterilization laws, which were enacted in July 1933.

Compulsory sterilization? That sounds like Obama’s science czar!

In Children of the Flames: Dr. Josef Mengele and the Untold Story of the Twins of Auschwitz, Lucette Matalon Lagnado and Sheila Cohn Dekel write:

The messianic quality of social Darwinism seems to have appealed to the young Mengele. His writings suggest that he was especially struck by their use of the phrase “the fate of mankind.” From his youthful encounter with their distorted ideals, to his old age, a weary and broken exile, Mengele would continue to feel a personal allegiance to the social Darwinists. At the university, the question of the “biological quality of mankind” may have been esoteric to most of Mengele’s classmates. But for him, it was apparently a clarion call.

Is it any wonder that the secular left is so interested in embryonic stem cell research, and cloning? They like scientific progress, and their worldview has no foundation for the right to life, or any objective human rights. They are thus rational in sacrificing the weak to make their own lives better.

Are all worldviews equal when it comes to morality?

Notice the difference between people influenced by Christianity, like William Wilberforce, and people influenced by Darwinism, like Josef Mengele. On the one worldview, you have man made in the image of God, for the purpose of having a relationship with God. And our job is to help them to have that relationship while respecting their free will (part of being made in the image of God means you have free will). And on the other worldview, you have survival of the fittest, the strong exterminating the weak to keep them from reproducing and wasting precious resources, so that the strong can pursue pleasure without being encumbered by the needs of others.

Here’s my previous post contrasting Wilberforce and Hitler, and another where I examine who is more responsible for the mass murders of the 20th century, and the millions of deaths caused by abortion, and environmentalist bans on DDT. My series of posts explaining why morality is not rational on atheism is here. Atheists may act better than their worldview allows, but that’s only because we are still living on the fumes of a dying Christian culture. If you want real atheist morality, unencumbered by Christianity, then just look at North Korea.

I’m going to be strict with comments again – please post your evidence along with your assertions. I cited evidence for my assertions.

One thought on “Was Nazi torturer Josef Mengele influenced by Christianity or Darwinism?”

  1. “They are thus rational in sacrificing the weak to make their own lives better.”


    The Didache (an early Christian instruction manual) on the other hand, went against the popular culture of its day by condemning pederasty, abortion, and infanticide. Christianity has been on the side of the angels since day one.


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