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Blue-eyed twins in Brazilian town not proof of Nazi experiments

November 28th, 2009
Josef Mengele

Josef Mengele

New research has rubbished reports which suggest that a remote Brazilian town filled with blonde, blue-eyed twins is proof of Nazi doctor Josef Mengele’s plans of building an Aryan “master race”.

Recent reports have indicated that Candido Godoi, a remote town in Brazil, is proof of Mengele’s post World War II attempts to add to the ranks of an Aryan “master race”.

But, according to a report in National Geographic News, new research has said that Candido Godoi’s “Nazi twins” are nothing more than a myth.

The outback town of about 7,000 has a twin rate nearly 1,000 percent higher than the global average.

The twins’ fair features are no mystery, as Candido Godoi is largely populated by the descendents of German immigrants.

But, the frequency of twin births is a decades-old mystery.

According to Argentine historian Jorge Camarasa, in World War II, Mengele, aka the Angel of Death, was mainly interested in twin research while serving as chief doctor at the Birkenau extermination camp in Poland.

Camarasa said that Mengele likely continued his twin experiments in the 1960s while on the run in South America, thus bringing the town of Candido Godoi in the picture.

The twins of the Brazilian town, most of them fraternal, or non-identical, are eager to shake their supposed Nazi connection.

“Because of these rumors that Mengele was there, the population gets very upset about it,” said geneticist Lavinia Schuler-Faccini of Brazil’s Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul.

“So some leaders of the community asked the university to start a project to try and understand why this place has such a high incidence of twin births,” Schuler-Faccini added.

Backed by the Brazilian government, Schuler-Faccini and colleagues led a research into this issue.

For the initial phase of their study, the team combed through baptismal records, which the researchers say should cover about 75 percent of the children born in predominantly Catholic Candido Godoi.

The records would reveal where and when the town’s many twin births had occurred.

The town’s baptismal records date back to 1927, long before Mengele’s supposed arrival-and so does the exceptional rate of twinning, the team discovered.

Furthermore, the records show no “surge” in twinning in the 1960s, when Mengele is said to have experimented on the local populace, according to the study.

Also, the high rate of twin births continues today, which rules out a role for Mengele, the researchers said.

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