Podcast: The U.S. Government’s Hunt for Josef Mengele

Spycast is a podcast created by the International Spy Museum in Washington, DC. The podcast is hosted by Dr. Vince Houghton, the museum’s historian and curator.

Josef Mengele (1911-1979) was an SS physician who conducted inhumane medical experiments on prisoners at Auschwitz. He was known as the Angel of Death.” 

In this podcast Dr. Houghton interviews David Kennedy, Curator of Collections and Exhibits at U. S. Marshals Museum, Inc. in Arkansas, David Turk, U.S. Marshals Historian, and Howard Safir, who headed up the Witness Protection Program for the Marshals service.

In the immediate postwar period, Mengele was in US custody but was released because US officials did not know he was wanted as a war criminal. In this podcast, the three people interviewed explain that the United States government — at the request of then Senator Al D’Amato — sought to locate and apprehend Mengele. However, their efforts were unsuccessful.

Mengele died in Brazil in 1979 at the age of 67. Public CIA records show that Senator D’Amato continued searching for Mengele until at least 1985. In 1986, Mengele’s son Rolf Mengele admitted that he had helped to conceal the whereabouts of his father. Then in 1992, Rolf provided a DNA sample that ended up matching the remains that were presumed to be Josef Mengele.


Up next What do Americans know about the Holocaust? There’s a great need for Holocaust education. Poland and the Jews A Week in Auschwitz is a blog written by an unnamed British female PhD student whose research focuses on the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum’s
Latest posts New York Times: Antisemitism on the Rise Podcast: “Fighting Antisemitism in America” Yad Vashem Statement on the Poway Synagogue Shooting NYTimes Apologizes for Silence During the Holocaust and Antisemitic Cartoon U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Holds Annual Days of Remembrance Ceremony Yad Vashem Calls for end to ‘divisive anti-Semitic language’ Michel Bacos, French Hero Pilot of Jet Hijacked to Entebbe and Nazi Fighter, Dies at 94 Israeli Spy Who Led Capture of Eichmann Dies at 92 Holocaust Remembrance Project Congressman Ted Deutch Condemns Antisemitism Survivor Explains Donation to Holocaust Museum 11-Year Old Swallowed Cyanide Capsule to Avoid Nazi Capture Holocaust Museum Pays Tribute to Historian Peter Hayes Podcast: Adolf Hitler Loved His Mother Montreal Holocaust Museum Names New Director Minnesota Student Used Nazi Salute For Dance Invite — The Forward Indiana High School Investigates Photo of Students Appearing to Give Nazi Salute Crimes Against Humanity: Former Ivory Coast Leader Acquitted Israeli Organization Scanning Danube for Remains of Holocaust Victims NYC: Swastikas Surge Nazi-Looted Books Are Finally Finding Their Way Home Documentary: ‘Who Will Write Our History’ EU Parliament Calls on Member States to Recover Art Looted by Nazi Germany New Canadian Study Finds Critical Gaps in Holocaust Knowledge Berlin Police Seize Watercolors Allegedly Painted by Hitler Podcast: The Making of ‘Shoah’ by Claude Lanzmann Podcast: Daniel Lubetzky, CEO and Son of Holocaust Survivor International Holocaust Remembrance Day - January 27 Poland and the Jews Podcast: The U.S. Government’s Hunt for Josef Mengele What do Americans know about the Holocaust?