Today’s edition of excerpts from Foreign Service oral histories by the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training (ADST) contains an excerpt from Steve Dachi’s oral history that deals with his role in identifying the Nazi doctor Josef Mengele through dental x-rays. Mengele had been the doctor involved in experiments with twins at Auschwitz. The Israelis had a major operation to track him down, but he escaped, living in Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil before he died at a beach in Brazil. When they thought they had found his grave, they needed to confirm that the body was Mengele’s. Sao Paulo Consul General Dachi had been a dentist before joining the Foreign Service and he was able to identify Mengele.
While I was science officer in Brasilia, I went to visit a steel company in Sao Paulo because they were producing some new type of steel. The executives mentioned to me that they had helped Consul General Dachi with the dental x-rays because they had a very powerful x-ray machine for examining steel. It’s a very interesting but unlikely chain of events.